This morning I awoke to a sadness. The news alert on my cell phone read, “Shirley Temple is Dead At 85.” My heart broke.
I raced to my computer to read about Shirley Temple. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtHvetGnOdM
When I was a child, my mother cherished movies with Shirley Temple as the child star. The lovely golden curls. The beautiful dimples and that amazing child star smile. I was envious! My hair was straight. Yes, I have dimples and I have been told by many that I have a ‘beautiful, inviting smile.’ My mother spoke of Shirley Temple as if she was a saint. Occasionally, when a movie was on TV, I watched Shirley Temple, her acting, dancing and singing abilities. I wanted to be a Shirley Temple clone! I danced around the house, singing “Animal Crackers In My Soup,” and other songs.
My mother would laugh and point her finger in my direction. “You are NOT Shirley Temple,” she said. How I wanted to prove her wrong!
I lost my mother questionably in 2002. She was in a nursing home at the time, although I discovered later that she did not die in the nursing home. She was admitted to a hospital and no one contacted me until it was too late. When my sister’s son phoned me to tell me of her passing, the one question he repeated over and over again was:
“Do you think they’ll do an autopsy?”
I was sick on that date with acute bronchial asthma. The doctors prescribed Prednisone, a drug that truly makes me a zombie! The funeral was scheduled for early the next morning. If I had the time to rush to the funeral, I would not make it on time, and I was much too ill to drive. I did not make it to the funeral. When I recuperated, I told my doctor to never prescribe Prednisone to me. I have way too many side effects from it. One day when I was reminiscing about my mother, I remembered the question that echoed inside my mind…”Do you think they’ll do an autopsy?”
I’ve shared that story with several friends. They suggested there must be a reason why my nephew was so concerned. Over the years, that question still rings in my mind.
Today, I reminisce about Shirley Temple and the memories of her movies, singing and dancing rush inside my mind. Shirley Temple made my mother laugh. Something she rarely did. As a small child, I sang, “On the Good Ship Lollipop,” pretending to be Shirley Temple, but my dance moves and my smile did not make my mother smile or laugh. How I wish I could freeze her smile and her laughter and remember it for eternity, but — my mother did not smile often so those memories are gone.
Today, I honor Shirley Temple Black, still wishing I could sing and dance like she did. After my mother’s death, I saw a TV commercial about the Shirley Temple movies. The Little Darling movies could be ordered, just in time for Christmas. http://www.shirleytempletv.com/Default.asp?bhcp=1
How I wish I could order those movies and send them to my mother, but now she is gone. If I ordered them, the sad memories of my childhood would return. I don’t wish to remember those times…only the good times.
Perhaps now I will order those DVD’s — to remember Shirley Temple Black.
Today is a sad day for America. Shirley Temple Black grew up to become an ambassador, a woman to truly admire in a time where women were reportedly reared to ‘be a homemaker, wife and mother.’ Shirley Temple Black had a mission and a purpose. She was an amazingly talented child who became an impressive woman before her time. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/12/arts/shirley-temple-black-screen-star-dies-at-85.html?hpw&rref=movies&_r=0
How I wish I could turn the clock back, to bring my mother back so we could watch the DVD’s “Little Darling” so I could see my mother smile and laugh again…to watch the anger and bitterness she had until her death just disappear — at least for a moment. How I wish I could sing, “Animal Crackers In My Soup,” and pretend I had those adorable curls in my hair.
Rest in peace, Shirley Temple. Thank you for helping my mother to smile and laugh — just once!
“Animal Crackers in my soup…”