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It just doesn’t seem real.  Yesterday morning I received a call from my dear friend Joy in Virginia who was crying over the phone.  “What’s wrong?” I asked.  Her tearful words were “Someone just posted that Doris died.”  I was stunned, shocked and in disbelief.   I immediately rushed to my computer to look it up and there on most news outlets were the devastating words “Doris Day Dead.”

We both wondered, what happened?  She seemed pretty well for her recent 97th  birthday celebration in Carmel, California.  Doris appeared on her balcony and spoke briefly to the crowd of well-wishers below on the golf green.  From the reports we have since learned she died early this morning, May 13th, of complications of pneumonia.

Needless to say, my e-mail and phone text messages have been flooded with notes from friends who know how much Doris has meant to me since I was 9 years old.  Doris was my idol and I treasure ALL the precious times I spent with her.

One friend commented, “I know you two were very close, but as you said she is in heaven now.  She did make heaven on earth for fans, like me, of her movies.”

Little did I think when I discovered the Doris Day Fan Club headquartered in London, England, when I was a young teen, that several years later, I would have the awesome opportunity to meet Doris on my third trip to Los Angles.  Better yet, I was destined to get to know her up close and personal.  Thanks to mutual friends and through a series of incredible events, Doris invited me to work for her when she was filming THE DORIS DAY SHOW at CBS, and eventually live with her, in her home.  Talk about a dream come true!

Today, as I myself am 75, Doris Day is still very much a part of my life.  She always inspired me to stay POSITIVE, to see the bright side of things and to do my best in whatever I chose to do.  I will forever be grateful to DORIS DAY.

I would like to close with some of what Bryan James, head of the Doris Day Forum in London just wrote about our dear Doris….”Yes, Goodbye dear Doris, your memory and legacy will live on. Thank you for all the joy you brought us.  Goodbye to a wonderful woman, the world seems a smaller place without her. But she had a long and mostly happy life, she was loved and admired by millions. She had the gift of being able to cope with loss and unhappiness without becoming bitter and was able – and ready and willing—to care for others—not forgetting the animals— even when things weren’t going well for her.

“Someone was just asked on TV, “Which of today’s stars would you say was most like her?” To which the reply came, “I’m sorry but I don’t think anyone today is like her. She could sing, dance, act, play comedy, drama and break your heart in some of her films and songs. There’s no one like that today.” How true.

Goodbye for now, dearest Doris….until we meet again….

Mary Anne is the author of Day at a Time: An Indiana Girl’s Sentimental Journey to Doris Day’s Hollywood and Beyond available by a click-back from our website.