As a kid, there was one music sensation who I enjoyed listening to and adored: Michael Jackson. Songs such as "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" often played on high volume in my parents' home, and we all enjoyed singing and dancing along. I collected his posters, joined an unofficial fan club, watched his videos and stayed updated on what Michael Jackson was up to. He was called the King of Pop, and rightfully so. He blew millions of fans away with his music and self-styled "moonwalk." That famous dance move became the dance style many people and many singers alike tried to imitate, but never could master except for the Man himself. I dreamed of meeting him someday. And I almost had that chance had I listened to my mother who grabbed my arm and told me, "THERE'S MICHAEL JACKSON!!" But I thought otherwise. At least I can say I was once in the same room as Michael Jackson.
And despite the controversy surrounding his personal life, I still loved and admired Michael. I understood why things happened and how hard it was for him to have some kind of "normal" life while in the spotlight. It seemed that controversy awaited him everywhere he went, and the media ruthlessly hounded him and tore any shred of privacy he had left to pieces.
So it was with shock and sadness that I learned that Michael Jackson died today. He was 50 years old. He died of cardiac arrest in his Southern California home.
I actually found out about his death while on the Internet. (No TV today because we had our carpets cleaned and everything was moved out of the room while the carpets are drying.) I came across a blog post I am subscribed to which revealed the blogger's shock over his passing. My reaction was, "What? Oh, my God! No!!" But I started checking around on other sites and was dismayed to learn that this was true. Michael Jackson has truly left us. And he was only 50 years old.
I started watching some of his videos on YouTube and tearing up. I started to cry as I watched him perform "Billie Jean." He was so amazingly talented and had a wonderful voice. I am grateful I was able to hear his voice before I lost my hearing. His songs will remain in my memory and my heart forever.
I chatted with my publisher about this today. We both think it is very sad that he is gone. He was taken from this world too soon. My publisher expressed her outrage that there were people saying mean things about him, even now that he is dead. I was reading on the 'Net comments people left when they heard the news and I started to get angry, too. Some people said "it's better off that he's dead" and "now little boys will be safe." I thought that was really cruel and heartless. The man has just died! Show a little respect! I think you should NEVER speak evil of the dead. Not ever. My publisher noted that these people are inviting bad karma.
In my opinion, he should be remembered for the POSITIVE things that he has done. And he HAS done good things. He helped a lot of handicapped children. He has done charity work. That's got to mean something, doesn't it? Remember him for the good things, not the bad things. No one is perfect. No one will EVER be perfect. Despite Michael Jackson's faults, let us not tarnish his memory, or his legacy. He was not a saint but he DID still try to do good in this world. He has three children he has left behind. Do you really want them to grow up in a world that would rather stomp on their father's legacy instead of love him and remember him for the good things that he has done?
That said, I will always love Michael Jackson and remember how I was once such a big fan of his. My heart is broken because he has passed on, but I am thankful for what he leaves behind in this world. I am thankful that the world got to enjoy and participate in his talent and his musical gifts. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Jackson family. Michael will be sorely missed and remembered forever. May he rest in peace.