Within several hours of each other, the world lost two iconic and strong women who impacted the lives of millions in very different arenas of the world. Baby boomers around the world will remember Annette Funicello, who passed away today at age 70, as the adorably wholesome and most popular Mouseketeer in the beloved show, The Mickey Mouse Club airing in the1950’s. In the 60’s, Annette became the wholesome American Sweetheart and Beach Party Girl sharing her beach blanket and dances with Frankie Avalon in a series of beach party movies.
About 20 years ago, to dispel the rumors that her physical condition and impaired walk was due to alcoholism, Annette revealed the devastating news that she was suffering from the neurological disorder, Multiple Sclerosis. I remember reading her autobiography, A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes: My Story, when it was published in 1994. Her kindness and optimism shine through as she recounts her early years and American Dream Lifestyle. Divorce and MS were her biggest challenges yet rather than dwelling in a self-imposed pity party, she inspires us with the courage and light of lessons learned through pain and hardship.
“When you are young and healthy, it never occurs to you that in a single second your whole life could change.” Annette Funicello
Later, in 1993, she opened the Annette Funicello Fund for Neurological Disorders at the California Community Foundation.
Margaret Thatcher died today at the age of 87 and regardless of one’s political views, she was undeniably among the world’s greatest and most influential female leaders. Her words speak volumes of the lessons we can all learn. As a woman, I would also hope that young girls and women around the world follow in her footsteps as leaders, first as individuals and as leaders in the world.
On her conviction for defending freedom.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you tonight in my red chiffon evening gown, my face softly made up, my fair hair gently waved … the Iron Lady of the Western World. Me? A Cold War warrior? Well, yes — if that is how they wish to interpret my defense of values of freedoms fundamental to our way of life.” Jan. 31, 1976
On the myth of trying to please everyone.
“If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time and you would achieve nothing.” — May 3, 1989, commenting on her 10th anniversary as prime minister.
On tenacity and taking the bull by the horns.
“I am not immortal, but I’ve got a lot left in me yet.” — Sept. 9, 1990.
On your own Power.
“Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”
And lastly, on the impact of our thoughts.
“Watch your thoughts for they become words.
Watch your words for they become actions.
Watch your actions for they become habits.
Watch your habits for they become your character.
And watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become.
My father always said that… and I think I am fine.”
RIP Annette and Maggie. You have marked the lives of millions with your legacy.