Happy birthday!

Today would have been Marilyn Monroe’s 75th birthday.

It’s hard to imagine her as an old woman — she always said herself that she would never make old bones. Her untimely death made sure that she remains forever young and beautiful in our minds.

A couple of months ago, Rufus and I visited her grave in Westwood Memorial Park in Hollywood.

Her grave, set into a wall with many others, is undistinguished except for the stains from fans’ hands and lips, paying homage to the star nearly 4 decades after her death. The flower holder on her grave is full of flowers, many with handwritten notes, and other floral offerings are laid on the ground in front of the wall containing her grave. She is still loved and not forgotten, and I think that would please her.

I have felt a certain connection to Marilyn ever since I was a kid and first saw her movies on our tiny black and white TV. Even back then I knew there was only one Marilyn and there would only ever be one. Our birthdays are just three days apart, and I was born the year she died. We have the same middle name, too, and we both have crazy mamas. I have been more fortunate than she was in my life. Perhaps when you are given a gift as great as hers, you get cheated in other areas. I’m sure I am only one of many who think that having a real friend or two might have saved this beautiful woman’s life.

Happy birthday, Marilyn! Your memory lives on.

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