3 years without The King of Pop….
June 25th, 2009, 3 years ago today, Michael Jackson passed away & strangely enough, I gained new respect for him & his music that evening. You know how most of us can remember where we were when a significant world event occurred? For my parents, they remember vividly when it was announced President Kennedy had been killed (my Dad was a wee one & upset they had interrupted his cartoons). For my generation, September 11th, 2001, will, sadly, always be one of ours. Yet, I remember when MJ died so much more vividly….& his music ended up comforting me on a really scary night….
I was still living in Solvang, Neverland Ranch being a mere 20 miles away in Los Olivos. It was a typical, hot summer day & I was on my way out to run some errands when my Mom said in her MJ imitation voice, ‘Oh no, Michael’s being rushed to the hospital!’ jokingly. While I was out, I was sitting out front at a coffeehouse & could tell the DJ on the radio was saying something alarming about him, yet I didn’t catch her every word. I got home & Mom said, ‘Well, Michael’s gone’. I nearly began to cry; he had been the butt of so many jokes through the years & seemed like such a troubled genius; I was a fan. I was sad. Someone once said ‘The whole cried when Elvis died’ & now, I could completely relate to this. I had grown up with MJ & always remember the year he performed at The Super Bowl in Pasadena, as we lived close enough to hear the hoopla from our driveway, I was so excited as I watched all the helicopters surround The Rose Bowl & my Dad carrying me & holding me up to try to hear him as he went into Black or White.
The news was going insane; Mom & I watched all of the coverage. She was doing so much better after her scare with congestive heart failure….yet while she was in the kitchen, she looked at me completely dazed & hit the floor. I thought she was dead. She woke up as I called 911 yet fell down again. It was one of the most scariest moments of my life; thinking my Mother was dropping dead before my eyes. I thought I was dying. It all seemed surreal. I was hysterical yet the ambulance came & did take her to the hospital & while it turned out to be fainting spells from new heart medication, the hospital was concerned & wanted to move her to another hospital in Santa Barbara….an hour from me & she insisted I stay home. All I could think was, what if it was something worse & I would not see her alive again? I wanted to do as she wished, so I stayed home & even spoke to her a few times over the phone & she told me how cute the EMT driver was on her ride down there (rolls eyes!) & even put one of the nurses on the phone to assure me she seemed ok.
That night in the house alone was absolutely awful. Luckily I talked on the phone to some friends but I did not sleep a wink, yet VH1 & Mtv were doing all Michael videos & I watched them all night long…You’re Not Alone made me cry, Black or White made me remember how cool that video was in the day, Thriller brought his Captain EO Disneyland movie to mind & his Will you Be There is one of my Moms most favorite songs, so that was so special to hear that evening. I don’t know what I would have done that long overnight without some great music on the TV. Ever since then, I have been a bigger fan of MJ & forever grateful for the power of his music to help me through a terrible day that turned out ok. I know many people who have not been so lucky; they have indeed had loved ones die before them. I cannot imagine how you can overcome such pain. I admire MJ’s children, as I know they reportedly watched their Father pass in front of them.
We miss you, King of Pop! xo