Friday, February 7, 2014


Our family grew up watching PBS from Barney days to Arthur - and all the programs in between. It stimulated an eagerness to learn and a thirst for curiosity, both of which I hope to maintain throughout my adult life. PBS has gained a wide acclaim amongst the general public in recent years. Downtown and Sherlock have helped create an unprecedented following for the station - which I think is marvelous!

A couple of weeks ago I watched the Salinger biography and just this past week I was treated to an inside look at one of my favorite icons - Audrey Hepburn! It's one of the many reasons I love PBS - I can always come across so many fascinating features, be it a fashion icon or a literary legacy; an antiquing roadshow or a trip to Europe. Obviously, I can't neglect some of my personal favorites: Sherlock and Call the Midwife

I don't spend every evening watching documentaries, drinking tea, and reading literary classics until I hit the sack. As lovely as that sounds (and as much as I'd like that to be my evening routine), I can only take so much of monotone white-haired men in tweed blazers with long noses lecturing about historic events. I need my healthy dose of crime shows and sitcoms :)
It's all balance. Because everyone deserves to live a life with time for knowledge and discovery, just as they deserve time for vegging out to television show while simultaneously flipping through Instagram, Pinning, Blogging, and eating chocolate chips. 
True life.
I like to say I dabble in both realms!

Back to the point. On Tuesday evening I watched a documentary on Audrey Hepburn and it was utterly superb. As my parents can attest, it's a rare occasion when I am completely engaged in a television program (see the description above) and this was an exception!

I learned so much about the actress' beautiful persona, external and internal. We know Audrey for her famous roles: Sabrina, Eliza Doolittle, Holly Golightly. But the women behind the doe eyes was a passionate and soulful humanitarian. She suffered through much tragedy beginning as a teenager when she almost died during Holland's Hunger Winter of 1944-45. Soon after, her dreams of becoming a professional ballerina were crushed because of her illness during the war and she was forced to find another profession. She found acting, and acting found their star. 
Her career was just as stressful as it was glamorous, and hidden beneath the pearls and ballet flats, her personal life brought many periods of despair. With two miscarriages and two failed marriages - it took her longer to find happiness than she hoped. She bid farewell to her acting career in the late 60s with only occasional roles in the years following. She knew she wouldn't be able to successfully manage both an acting career and motherhood, and chose to be with her sons. After her second divorce, she found love in a man who happened to have grown up within miles of Audrey's home in Holland. Both of them had survived the Hunger Winter and, to Audrey, it was both bliss and relief to find someone who finally understood her. 
Audrey wholeheartedly devoted her later years working with UNICEF. She felt she owed her life to them, as they were the service organization that provided food and medicine to the survivors of the Hunger Winter. Audrey became a national spokeswoman for UNICEF and traveled around the world visiting developing countries and reporting back to the United States on their struggles - encouraging Americans to support women and children around the world. 

Today, I am reflecting on Audrey's character and legacy. 

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