I will remember the day Michael Jackson died as vividly as I remember the day JFK, MLK, RFK and Elvis died. I've attempted to compose a dairy in honor of Michael Jackson several times but the words wouldn't come. I guess it really didn't hit me until today that he was really gone. As my daddy says, there is nothing like ” sad singing and slow walking” to make the sting of death a reality. Although there was very little sad singing today, the home going celebration for Michael Jackson gave me closure.
Friday, June 25, 2009 was one of those rare days when I wasn't blogging with the television on in the background. I wasn't riding around in my car so I didn't listen to XM radio. I didn't even have a chance to check my Blackberry for email messages until about 5:00 PM CST while walking to a resturant to meet friends for dinner. I read the CNN Breaking News alert on my email and the first thing I thought was, Oh Lord, what have the right wing nuts done now? My heart sank when I read “Michael Jackson in a coma after suffering Cardiac Arrest“. I hurried to the resturant thinking I was going to inform my friends but when I walked into the resturant it was dead silent. People were crowded around the bar glued to the television set. Then came the terrible news. Michael Jackson had died.
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I remember the first time I learned of a group of really cute brothers who called themselves The Jackson 5. ABC was the very first album in my collection. My parents thought I was going to wear the needle out on the record player and rub the vinyl off the record because I played it over and over again. ABC, I Want You Back, The Love you Save, and I'll Be There were my jams! I purchased every magazine with pictures of The Jackson 5 in them so I could tear them out and tape them to the walls in my room. My friends and I “chose” the brother we were “in luv with” and the one we were going to marry one day. Jermaine was my man (Michael was too young for me). My sibling and I would sit in front of the television set in our pajamas with bowls of cereal watching the Jackson5ive cartoon series on Saturday mornings.
The Jackson 5 appeared on the American scene after the spring assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the summer assination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Their presence helped me heal from those tragedies. Instead of being sad and afraid all the time I was singing and dancing and happy and carefree again.
Fast foward to 1995 when the Redeye Family 5 morphed into The Jackson 5 at the family reunion talent show, complete with Afro wigs, bell bottom pants, vest, electric guitars and and a drum set. Mr. Redeye was Jackie, the offspring were Michael, Marlon and Tito. I was Jermaine. Good thing You-Tube wasn't invented back then….
Michael Jackson wasn't perfect, neither is anybody else, but I think he deserved respect and admiration for the good and positive contributions he made to society. To me and to others he was an idol, a superstar, but to his sons and daughters he was their Daddy. To his mother and father he was their son. To his siblings he was their brother. To all you haters out there who slamed and bashed Michael while he was alive and in death, I am going to pray for you.
Rest in Peace Michael Joseph Jackson.