Mar. 18, 2020

NOBODY WANTS AN OLD WOMAN, ALONE AND DESTITUTE.

 

Several years ago I learned of her death. I read her obituary and learned that, at the age of 83 years, Anita Ekberg died-- alone. 

The heartless press called her “old, faded, wrinkled" and "only a shell of what she’d once been."  Gleefully, they wrote that Anita Ekberg died ‘penniless and completely destitute.”  Once so popular, beautiful, shapely, and internationally famous, Anita must have wondered what happened to all her fans; she surely felt abandoned by those who once adored her in the days when she was young, popular, and pretty.   

Like the song lyrics say "Nobody wants you when you’re old and gray".....and, from  personal experience, I know it’s true.  I would add a few more words to that phrase...."Nobody wants you when you’re old and gray, no longer popular, and poor."

Many years ago, Anita Ekberg entered the public eye as Miss Sweden, a contestant in the Miss Universe Pageant.   Yes, she was also "A Beauty Queen".   In fact, seven years before I arrived at the Miss America Pageant, Anita Ekberg appeared on the Miss America stage as a special guest.

If Anita Ekberg and I just-happen to meet in the “SWEET BYE AND BYE”.... I’ll be sure to say: “ Anita, on a much-smaller scale, I understood your life.  In many ways, we shared some of the same "highs and lows". It's a relief to know that age, beauty, and wealth don’t matter in Heaven”.

Many women are jealous of other women. Too-many women enjoy criticizing women who are public figures. I'm not smarter or prettier,  stronger, or more talented than other women BUT I'm confident about my accomplishments.  I'm proud that I dared-to challenge life.....whether it was running the Great Wall, writing the story of my life, singing to endless audiences, speaking to large groups, saving an historic Steam Engine or placing myself in the line-of-political-fire to try and save a dying town!!!!

Rather than waste valuable time viciously-attacking me, women should use their energies to make-a-difference in the world!!!!

The seven months I spent on The Great Wall of China-- mostly alone--were the most valuable months of my life.  I used my "alone" time to get intimately-acquainted with myself. 

I'm not perfect. BUT when I add my pluses and minuses… it's  obvious I have many-more positives than negatives.  And…I’m a quick learner.  I've learned my lessons well, especially those about love and loss; about living in the present rather than the past; and, most importantly, about loving myself. 

I’m still sorting through this “growing old” part of life because….it happened suddenly.  Sometimes I look in the mirror and smile. I'm amazed at how quickly life carried me from younger to older.  I believe what matters most is ---I've learned to be my-very best friend.      

And, I’m still learning. Today…many,many decades later, I’m still the same “little girl” who fears the darkness.  Every night, before turning out the light, I look under the bed, check the closet for something-other-than-clothes, and double-check the bedroom door to make sure it’s locked.

But locked doors can’t silence the long-ago echo of my mother’s suspicious, controlling voice. She permanently branded my childhood with her hateful words:  “ Leave this damn door open! Just what are you afraid of?  What are you  trying to hide?!?!? No one gives a damn about seeing your skinny legs and flat chest!”

My mother steadily chipped away at my confidence, my belief in myself, and, over-time, robbed me of so much.  But, in the end--- try as she might--- she was unable to conquer my indomitable spirit.

Regardless of age, looks, financial-insecurity, or aloneness--- I don't have anything to "prove" to anyone---includingThe Media. I don't intend for anyone to know when I--at last--"exit" the Stage.

Sally Miller