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Jackie's Strength

 

 

She never wanted to be a leader. If she had her way, she would've been with her
children, or reading a book. Yet she promised her husband she would go with him to
Dallas. She packed her pink suit.It was only going to be a couple of days.

According to several biographies, when she flew back to Washington D.C, she
refused to change from the blood soaked pink suit. "Let them see what they've done," she
told Lady Bird Johnson. By not changing, she was telling people something terrible
happened to me, to my family. I'm not going to hide it, I won't let anyone get me down.
This is what I feel is important in a leader: not to hide from trouble, but face it head on,
and help other people face it as well.
That night she walked outside the White House,
numb. People stared at her. Finally, one hugged her. She hugged the woman back, then
kept walking.

Five years later when her brother-in-law died, she knew what she had to do.
According to A Woman Named Jackie by C. David Heymann, she said, frustrated, "I hate
this country... they're killing Kennedys, and my kids are number one targets. I'm getting
them out of here." Maybe she was being too emotional, but she did what she thought
was right for herself and her children. She married the Greek, and was kicked out of that
ivory tower.

Years passed. She spent too much money, and the marriage to the Greek
floundered. He too died. She got a settlement, but she wanted more. To write, maybe
even edit books. According to Reading Jackie by William Kuhn, she wrote a couple of
items for The New Yorker's "Talk of the Town." Then an offer from Viking came, then she
moved on to Doubleday.

Now there was no argument: she was leading. She was a forty-something
woman who didn't have to work, yet there she was, waiting to make copies, getting
coffee.

She edited books by Bill Moyers about Joseph Campbell, mythology, healing.
Edited one novel about Sally Hemmings, the slave who was Thomas Jefferson's
mistress. Helped Diana Vreeland, Martha Graham and Michael Jackson with their
memoirs, She ended up on the cover of Ms. Again, she was leading by example. She
was telling America I'm going to create beauty when there was none. I don't have to do
this, but I want to do this. I want to do this for me. She led people to create something
out of nothing, to aspire to something more.

She was taken way too young, seventeen years ago today. Her niece Maria
Shriver is now going through a hell no woman should go through. And yet, when Shriver
released her statement on the affair, she said this: “As a mother, my concern is for the
children. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild
our lives and heal. I will have no further comment.”

Her aunt would've been proud.

 

Jackie's Strength

 

A Bouvier till her wedding day
Shots rang out
The police came
Mama laid me on the front lawn
And prayed for Jackie's strength
Feeling old by 21
Never thought my day would come
My bridesmaids getting laid
I pray for Jackie's strength

Make me laugh
Say you know what you want
You said we were the real thing
So I show you some more and I learn
What black magic can do
Make me laugh
Say you know you can trun
Me into the real thing
So I show you some more
And I learn

Stickers licked on lunch boxes
Worshipping David Cassidy
Yeah I mooned him once
On Donna's box
She's still in recovery
Sleep-overs Beene's got some pot
You're only popular with anorexia
So I turn myself inside out
In hope someone will see

Make me laugh
Say you know what you want
You said we were the real thing
So I show you some more and I learn
What black magic can do
Make me laugh
Say you know you can trun
Me into the real thing
So I show you some more
And I learn

I got lost on my wedding day
Typical the police came
But virgins always get backstage
No matter what they've got to say
If you love enough you'll lie a lot
Guess they did in camelot
Mama's waiting on my front lawn
I pray
I pray
I pray
For Jackie's strength

Make me laugh
Say you know what you want
You said we were the real thing
So I show you some more and I learn
Jackie's strength

 

                                                    Tori Amos