Happy Birthday Mrs. Kennedy

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis would have been 85 on July 28th.  When I walked by her old building (1040 Fifth Avenue), something I do often, I suddenly started to think about her.  I had just told a friend how, when she gave parties, the Metropolitan Museum would light up The Egyptian Temple of Dendur just for her.  She was behind her husband asking Congress for funds to save these ancient relics destined to fall into the sea.  It’s why the U.S. got one of our very own, all because of her.  images I remember the story when she walked into court as part of a committee to save Grand Central Station.  A member of the opposing legal team leaned over to a colleague and said, “That’s it, it’s over.”  Her face alone, enough to save a now treasured landmark.

I then started to think about when she died…how my neighborhood swelled with grief waiting for her to pass.  She had gone home from Memorial Sloan Kettering deciding it was time to let God have the last say.

There was Eddie the florist who said, “You know, she never asked for special treatment.  She’d always wait patiently whenever she came in.  I was so humbled by her manners, I would have done anything for her.”  And believe me when I say, he was not alone.

Harry the butcher knew when she was given the last rites because her cook came in to tell him.  He told Carlos who told Brian who told Anthony the grocer who told me, so I went to her church, St. Thomas More, to light candles.

The throng of press and satellite vans parked all around her home amid bouquets and cards, pictures of JFK and the famous one of John saluting was endless.  People stood cordoned off by a police barricade quietly waiting for some news of her.

Why did we love her so much?  We did…there’s no question.  Was it because of those  sudden, sad November days she seemed to single-handedly see us through as a country?

I was 8, glued to the TV like everyone side watching her walk between Bobby and Ted with every dignitary in step behind her.   images-6 I didn’t know then how dangerous it was for everyone concerned since we still could not identify our enemy.

But she walked anyway, and when they tried to get French General, Charles de Gaulle, to ride in a car for his personal safety he said, “I am walking with Mrs Kennedy.”

She inspired strength and valor, elegance and grace.  And if she hadn’t died at 64 she would have made a beautiful grand lady well into her 80s.

All these thoughts came to mind on my way to the park, one of her favorite spots, where she too ran, walked and rode her bike.  images-3

She now rests at Arlington beside her husband and two of her children.  A little girl named Arabella who was stillborn, and Patrick who lived all but two days.  I only wish John Junior was there too, but the powers that be would just not permit it.  But she does have Bobby and Ted down the hill who, no matter what, always stood by her.

She was loved by many…even now, so many years later.     images-7

SB

 

 

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About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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25 Responses to Happy Birthday Mrs. Kennedy

  1. micklively says:

    I don’t know nearly enough about her. You have inspired me to find out: good post Susannah.

    Like

  2. She had a grace about her that has yet to be replicated and I have a feeling it never will be.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    Jackie was pure class.
    My mother and I sewed the pill-box hats Jackie made famous, by the dozen, back when you had to wear hats in church.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elle Knowles says:

    Beautiful story Susannah. I too, need to read more about her. ~Elle

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lynn says:

    I think we are enamoured with her because she represented such strength in so many ways. Despite all of the challenges thrown her way, she always appeared to deal with things with such grace & dignity. A lost art for many these days. A lovely post Susannah.

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  6. so beautiful, her and your post. She was grace personified. I remember watching her as well, walking. I loved her strength and it has been an example of what quiet dignity and strength is. When my mom passed away, my older sister insisted on getting a pill box hat for the funeral. I remember thinking how classy she looked in it, just like Jackie.

    Like

  7. Patricia says:

    Somehow so many get wound up in the hoopla of celebrity, but she never did she remained a lady to the end. She was a wonderful role model. I especially like that she never went the tell all route. Of course, a lady would never do that. Not that I wouldn’t have read every word.
    Lovely tribute.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful tribute!

    Like

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