Thursday, March 25, 2010

Isn’t it amazing that nine months ago, it was a Thursday the 25th?

June 25th to be exact.

The number 9 can sometimes symbolize eternity. It is also technically the amount of time it takes for a human to go from conception to birth.

Nine months ago is also when we lost our beloved Michael.

Isn’t it amazing that the fans are still grieving? We still carry broken hearts. We are still confused about his death.

We weren’t ready to give him up, but we had to.

So how do we repair this hole in our hearts? There has been an unrepairable rip in the fabric of time. The wound of him leaving us is a deep scratch in our Michael Jackson vinyl. The virtual record needle is stuck and the sweet echo of his voice, whether it be the sparkling sound of Smooth Criminal or the gritty lyrics of They Don’t Really Care About Us, is playing continuously in our minds, in our vehicles or on our computers.

It is still hard to comprehend that he is now dancing among the stars, performing for the heavenly hosts and singing with the angels.

But… even with heavy hearts, we can still look toward the heavens and smile… being an angel becomes you, Michael. It becomes YOU.

You were our angel for many years

And we thank God for lending you to us for this short memorable time.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Michael loved trees. I just hate that he had to leave his Giving Tree when he abandoned Neverland. I envision him before he moved on, visiting Neverland again, climbing his favorite tree and even sitting for a spell underneath it.

The Giving Tree is also a book by Shel Silverstein, one of my favorites. I never read this anywhere, but I bet Michael loved the book as well. Here is a little bit of a synopsis of the book copied from Wiki:

The Giving Tree is a tale about a relationship between a young boy and a tree in a forest. The tree always provides the boy with what he wants: branches on which to swing, shade in which to sit, apples to eat, branches with which to build a home. As the boy grows older he requires more and more of the tree. The tree loves the boy very much and gives him anything he asks for. In the ultimate act of self-sacrifice, the tree lets the boy cut her down so the boy can build a boat in which he can sail. The boy leaves the tree, now a stump. Many years later, the boy, now an old man, returns and the tree says, "I have nothing left to give you." The boy replies, " I do not need much now, just a quiet place to sit and rest." The tree then says, "Good! A tree stump is a great place to do just that! Come boy, sit down and be happy." The boy obliged and the tree was happy.

Isn't that beautiful? So picture this: Michael's spirit came back to Neverland to visit his favorite tree and the tree said, "Come Michael, sit down and be happy." Michael's tree didn't give him apples to eat, but it gave him words. And with the words he made great songs.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Here is the transcript of a speech I gave last night:

Dancing Machine

Isn’t it amazing how music can evoke a feeling or makes you remember an event that you may have forgotten--- something that may have happened to you years ago? Well that is a litle of what my speech is about tonight.

My mother and I moved from New York to Oklahoma when I was a child. Now I don’t particularly think it was a great move. But since I didn’t have anything to do with it, we moved to this little town in Oklahoma. I’m going to tell you right now, sometimes it was boring. The difference in New York and Oklahoma is indescribable. I was always planning and plotting about where I was going to go after I graduated from high school and left that little town. But the truth is, living there gave me a lot of interesting memories that I can talk about. There weren’t a lot of things to do in this little town, especially on Saturdays. On that day, you would mainly hang out with your friends, go downtown window shopping or stay home watching TV. One thing that I looked forward to every Saturday was looking at Soul Train on TV. Soul Train was black America’s American Bandstand. It was dubbed the hippest trip in America by the host Don Cornelius. My friends and I looked at Soul Train to get the latest fashions even though we couldn’t afford them, to look at the latest dance steps even though we couldn’t do them, and to see who was going to be the musical guest. Then we’d talk about when we got to school Monday.

One Saturday while watching Soul Train, Don Cornelius announced that next week’s musical guest would be the Jackson 5. Oh my God! The Jackson 5? Did he say the Jackson5? Are you serious? Who didn’t like the Jackson 5 back then? Nobody! What was it about the Jackson 5 that I liked? They were just so cute with their little afros and their perfectly coordinated clothes. They were magic! I loved when they performed. They could dance, they could sing --- they were like little Temptations with a base and a guitar, but only better. My friends and I were always choosing which one we were going to marry. Forget about getting Michael when we were dividing up the Jackson Brothers though, he was always taken first. Michael was about 15 at the time, his voice had started to mature and it was just something about him that I always liked. So that whole week in elementary school was bearable because I knew on Saturday I would be watching the Jackson 5 on TV. Saturday rolls around and Soul Train comes on. I was never still when I watched Soul Train as a kid, I would be up dancing along with the dancers. In my mind I was a Soul Train dancer. Then Don Cornelius announces here are the Jackson 5 singing their new hit, Dancing Machine. Oh boy! There they were! I was glued to the set. I was mesmerized. This was probably the only time I was quiet and sitting on the couch. The song was amazing. Then during the bridge or the break portion of the song, Michael Jackson steps forward between the microphone stands and the edge of the stage and does this incredible dance that I had never seen before in my life. This was way before the moonwalk. He glided forward across the stage moving his head from side to side with these stiff jerking movements. I jumped up and moved closer to the tv. I couldn’t get close enough. It was incredible. I was in love with Michael Jackson from that day on. When they were through performing and Don Cornelius had finished interviewing them. I ran into my mother’s room and yelled, “Mama, we have GOT to go to the record store NOW! You have got to buy the Jackson 5 song they just sang on Soul Train!” My mother looked at me like, ‘what?’ And then she said something that momentarily broke my heart, “I’m not going down to no record store right now.” But she did add, “But next time when we’re downtown, we can go there and you get your little record,” I sadly walked out the room. That wasn’t good enough. I was so disappointed but I guess it would have to do… for now. I think I even cried. Eventually, I did get to the record store and bought the 45 record of Dancing Machine and one of the little yellow record spacers that you put in the middle of 45s so you could play them on your record player. Wow, my first Jackson 5 record. I loved that song so much. I’d put it on and dance and dance and dance. I even brought it to school. We use to have record day in music class at school on some Fridays. We couldn’t get up and move around; we had to sit in our little wooden chairs while the teacher played our records we brought from home. You know I could hardly sit still when she played my record.

But on June 25th of last year, my Dancing Machine died. It was like my childhood record player died. It’s hard to describe how sadden I was when Michael died. Hearing the news felt was like a member of my family died, a long distant cousin that I hadn’t seen in a while or an old boyfriend that I hadn’t talked to in years but I’d heard about from time to time. I suddenly found myself trying to gather up all the memorabilia I had on Michael Jackson and buying things that I always wanted and I didn’t have. I bought his one and only autobiography Moon Walk and started to read it. As I’m reading I come to Chapter 3 which is entitled Dancing Machine. Within that chapter, he talks about how he loved the groove and the feel of the song, Dancing Machine. He worked hard to find a dance move that would make the song more exciting when he and his brothers performed it. Michael turned to a street dance called the Robot. He was amazed that when he did the Robot that first time on Soul Train, Dancing Machine became an overnight hit (no thanks to my mother). As I read that passage, I began to remember that very moment and felt that same wonderful excitement I felt back when I was a little kid. It was satisfying to know that a song that I loved and that was special to me was also special to him as well.