Archives for December 2011


DiMaggio, Joseph Paul Jr.: His Love for MM

Marilyn Monroe was his friend, step-mother, idealized woman and sexual fantasy. How do I know this? I married Joe DiMaggio Jr. when I was seventeen and he was twenty-one.

When I met him he was still mired in the grief of her recent death, while I found myself adoring him, bereft of family and father myself. Like misfits, we were lost, grasping, and broken. Absent were the makings for any type of healthy relationship but I loved him as only a seventeen year old heart can love, with every part, holding nothing back for myself. Do I regret my time with him? Not for a moment.

Marilyn Monroe came into his life when he was only ten years old. At that tender age he was already separated most of the time from his parents while attending boarding school. He once told me that he felt like a bother to his parents.


Marilyn Monroe vs. Norma Jeanne and Dawn

I do not relate to the Marilyn Monroe persona in any conceivable way. Not in beauty, sex appeal, style, dress, voice, talent, or life experience as a world renowned starlet. But I do believe I understand and relate to Norma Jeane, the compliant child-woman, the person she was behind the persona, the real person who is the subject of this post.

I have often wondered if it was the Norma Jeane quality that compelled my young husband Joey, Marilyn Monroe’s step-son, to chose me, marry me and then fervently try to re-make me into his Marilyn Monroe idealized image by changing the way I dressed and behaved.


Like Norma Jeane not Marilyn Monroe

In my memoir, Ragdoll Redeemed: Growing up in the Shadow of Marilyn Monroe, I write about the many ways in which I relate to Norma Jeane.

At the risk of sounding ridiculous, one of my earliest attachments was to trees. I want to talk about my love of trees now because it’s something that I shared with Norma Jeane. Perhaps it’s because I feel shy about things I reveal in my book that I am choosing to start with more cautious, less invasive comparisons. The other stuff, the embarrassing stuff, can wait until later, when I am feeling less reticent. Always one to ease slowly into unfamiliar situations, I try to tread lightly.


“Sacred Living and Sacred Dying”


“One does not need to evoke theological or religious arguments to defend

the case for life after biological death. In the world of particle physics, all

annihilation means transformation, not into nihilism, but into something radically

new and vibrant. “ Diarmuid O’ Murchu


Dawn, I do appreciate our on-going conversations about death and dying, especially the need to confront our issues …. before ….. we can really get on with living our lives fully. I like your thoughtful questions, a person could ask, such as: “What will happen when we die, what do I need to do, believe, change …. etc.  Following are some of the thoughts and insights that are guiding me these days. I would like to think they are enriched by the learnings coming out of the IFS work around the higher Self.



“Spiritual unfolding is a universal field of influence and belonging. We all inhabit it and are inhabited by it.

It constitutes a central aspect of our being and becoming and unites us indelibly with the tapestry of creation itself.”

Diarmuid O’Murchu


Hello Dear Friends and Readers,

This week I blogged my tenth post having to do with my cancer experiences. For the second time I am rejoicing in the closure of that particular topic. After my guest post next week, I will submit 4 posts about my connection to Marilyn Monroe or rather Norma Jeane in preparation for my upcoming book, Ragdoll Redeemed: Growing up in the shadow of Marilyn Monroe.

I am writing an extra post this week for two reasons. First, to thank all of you who have supported me throughout this blogging adventure. Those of you who know me know that writing is quite a challenge for me.