Goodbye Bonnie Franklin

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The wonderful Bonnie Franklin died this Friday at her home in Los Angeles from complications from pancreatic cancer. She was only 69 years old.

Needless to say I was shocked and teary eyed when I found out that we have, once again, lost someone to this terrible disease for which I am sure we would have found a cure years ago if we weren’t blowing all our national assets  on waging fraudulent wars and keeping oil companies and rich people tax exempt.

I wasn’t even born when her wonderful show “One Day at a Time” came out in 1974. I found out about the show just a few years ago when the Season 1 DVD was released. I was pleasantly surprised at the show’s wit and great writing for 1974. I thought she was sweet, endearing and just this little bundle of energy and joy. Reading about her I found out that she was like that in real life as well – a real lady and sweetheart – and that the character she played on the show, Ann Romano, was all her.

I am saddened to see her gone forever  – no longer existing and contributing to this ever enduring drama we call life  – and I can only imagine how heart broken I would be if I was one of her co-stars on the show. I mean these people were working together on the show for nearly a decade. They must have been more than just colleagues.

Today I started re-watching the first season and was intermittently saddened remembering Franklin’s untimely passing.

Whenever someone dies, I wonder a lot about life and death and the meaning of it all and how we can be here one day – laughing, working, eating, breathing and just living our lives – and then gone, dead – mud and worms – the next day.

I know that all things must pass and that no matter what your outlook on life, death is a certainty for all of us and for all things, even stars, planets and even galaxies – but I must admit I will never quite get used to it. I may accept it as part of existence, but I will never be able to stop wondering about the bigger questions of existence and being and the meaning of it all – if there is a meaning. I just don’t know.

All I know is that life is short and death a certainty. And on March 1, dear, sweet Bonnie Franklin met that certainty.

She may be gone, but she will not be forgotten. For me she will always be the quirky, funny, witty and smart red head who brought us countless hours of laughter, joy and enlightenment. I will remember her for that next time I tune it. Incidentally, after having watched the show many times and having listened to its opening passage, just today, for the first time, that opening paragraph of the title song where Bonnie jumps up in triumph takes on a whole new meaning “This is life, the one you get, so go and have a ball.”

You will be missed Bonnie, but “we’ll muddle through, one day at a time!”


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