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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Memories of MJ

On December 25th, 2006 the Godfather of Soul, James Brown passed on. Believe it or not, two other shining stars were lost on the same day but different months and years. Young star, Aaliyah died in a plane crash on August 25th, 2001- eight months later, April 25th, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez from the all girl group, TLC died in a car wreck in Honduras. Then two days ago on June 25th the world lost one of the greatest entertainers... Michael Jackson. I was registering kids for the final night of our Vacation Bible School, when I received a text that he had a heart attack and was in "pretty bad shape."
I read it but immediately thought he would be fine- he had access to the best doctors. So I thought. Shortly after that I found out he was not coming back.
It didn't really sink in until yesterday- June 26th. Michael Jackson- who I watched growing up is really gone. So many things have run through my mind. The memories, what happened, did he know he was still loved, what about his family and close friends?
The memories: There are too many to write about. The first time I saw him. I can't remember the very first time- I just remember it was Michael Mania for many years growing up. The videos were some of the most vivid memories. Beat It, Billie Jean, Remember the Time, and the one most talked about... Thriller. Vincent Price's voice gave me chills.
I'll have to be honest, that video scared me. I could not watch it alone when it first came out. I remember being teased by older cousins about that. The Making of Thriller was just as popular as the actual video. It was a video that people never grew tired of. And that red jacket he wore in the video- everyone and their grandma had one. There was a guy at our church who had one just like it. His hair was styled like Michael's and he had the loafers and socks like him. When he came up to the balcony, where all the teens sat, on Sunday mornings- all eyes were on him. As the kids say now, "He was HOT!" And I am almost sure his name was Michael too!
Fast forward to the video Remember The Time! I think this video came out in the Spring of my sophomore year of college. It was an all-star cast! Magic Johnson, Eddie Murphy, Iman, and more. The choreography was so sweet! I could never just watch the video- I had to TRY to do the moves with them. Michael moved like no other in that video and all of his videos.
I cried when he had the accident during the Pepsi commercial. I was on the phone with friends talking about it for days. And I actually begged my mom for a Jheri Curl back then. Well after that mishap I knew, if my mom had considered it, she had changed her mind after that incident.
When MJ showed us the moonwalk during Motown 25.... the world went nuts! It was to be talked about for years. And while others have tried to do it, no one could ever do it as well as him.
Michael was different. He did reinvent the wheel! He seemed to be such a perfectionist. He mastered his craft. He entertained us so much and so well. There is no one like him. He would always say he loved us and I believe he did. That is why it was sad to see how some of the world treated him in the last decade or so. Making a mockery of his looks and behavior.
I think he was a troubled person. He never had a chance to be a child- well not for long. I believe he and his siblings did have a tough upbringing but they also had love from their parents.
I read that he had been having a lot of pain. I think most of his pain was emotional more than physical. The financial struggles I read about were sad. This man who gave myriad times- not just his time to entertain us but he gave financially and shed light on problems such as the poverty in Africa. He did all that and as he grew older and needed help himself, he didn't get it. Now that he has died he gets his flowers and messages of love. I just hope he knew he was still loved. Many close to him say he was troubled and sad. I hope he is at peace now.
I feel sorry for the generations who did not get a chance to see him. I feel blessed to have been able to see him- to have grown up during his time. I saw a message from someone go across the screen while watching some of the many tributes last night. "It was not his time to Beat It!" It read. How do we know that? I do know he will be missed... he was a Thriller!

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