I have been writing my daily poems, but there is also another post I’ve wanted to share here on “invisible issues.” Annette Funicello was known as an original Mouseketeer, but also for her diagnisis of MS, which she made public 21 years ago. (She had privately faced the diagnosis for almost five years, but she had chosen not to share this information.) So below is the tribute to Annette that I finally wrote. Today’s poetry theme was “broke,” and I thought the topic fit.
NPM 2013 – Day 12 – a “broke” poem
She was the leader of the club
that’s made for you and me –
in his younger years, Dad’s wall held her poster.
She played bingo with beach blankets,
and her innocent smile melted hearts.
Her smile never broke.
Her youthful marriage, three children, and almost 16 years…
then the marriage did.
But the smile did not, the children either.
Then the glue of time repaired life and brought in Glenn.
He offered a ring and a promise
to the smile that warmed America’s heart.
“Until death do us part” sealed the vow.
He didn’t know what would come,
a thief that would break into the one he loved.
“The crippler of the young,” some call it.
She saw MS enter her life the day she tried to play bingo,
with Frankie and the blankets at the beach.
Why couldn’t she walk straight? Why the numb hands?
How could she explain this? Was she crazy?
Glenn kept his promise. He loved his sweetheart, her smile, her spirit.
Twenty-five years, he walked the journey with her.
A cane, a chair, dark glasses – he loved her.
Then another chair, a bed, a hospital – he loved her still.
MS broke her health, but not her heart. And not his promise.
’Til death do us part… that’s what it took.
We’ll all miss you, Annette.
Annette Funicello 1952-2013