I always wondered how people could get so emotional about someone they never met but on June 25, 2009 I knew the feeling.
July 21, 1990; Age 3
My first memory of the absolutely amazing Michael Jackson was watching The Making of Thriller with my god sisters.
It’s amazing that I remember this, but I recall watching it on Beta, the device used to watched movies before VHS and DVD, and thinking that I had never witnessed anything like it before.
The dancing, music and acting caused me to immediately fall in love with Michael Jackson and I quickly deemed myself his biggest fan. At that time, I had no idea that there were millions of others who held the same title.
For years, I would force my god sisters to learn all the fancy footwork to the Thriller video, but they never expressed the same determination I had to learn the routine. However, after many sessions in the mirror, I mastered the moves to Thriller and other Michael Jackson hits. To this day, no matter where I am, I am liable to break out in a knee kick or the infamous Moonwalk just to proclaim my love for MJ.
June 25, 2009; Age 21
Headed to National Tire and Battery to get a headlight replaced, I receive a call from my youngest god sister. “Did you hear the news? Michael Jackson is in cardiac arrest.” I thought, “What a cruel joke to play,” as I ended the call.
Unfortunately, I turned on the radio and sure enough they were playing Michael Jackson songs non-stop and giving updates about his status. Still somewhat in disbelief, I thought, “I wish people would leave Michael alone.”
When I walked into the lobby of NTB, I witnessed a woman sobbing uncontrollably and shouting, “MICHAEL’S DEAD! MICHAEL’S DEAD!” I tried my best to console her by letting her know it had not been confirmed, but she turned on me and directed her tangent toward me. “There’s still hope,” I mumbled as I walked away. But it was too late, it was true, the legend we knew as Michael Jackson was gone and never to return.
Michael Jackson was not only a son, brother, father, musician, humanitarian and an icon but he was a friend – my friend. Most people did not know him personally and may have only seen him on TV, but to me, Michael Jackson was my friend from afar. I loved him like a member of my family and when he passed I felt that same pain as if a blood relative had left me.
Despite all of his trials and tribulations, Michael was the very best there ever was. That’s why today I wanted to pay homage to him for his kind spirit, giving heart and brilliant music. He was truly one of a kind and an angel.
R.I.P. Michael Jackson