Friday, June 26, 2009

In Memory of Michael Jackson -

From the 80's - Michael Jackson pins

Why is it that the death of the King of Pop – Michael Jackson shocked the world? I thought about this yesterday as people around the globe voiced their sympathies and condolences. And thought I’d add my thoughts …

His death (like anyone who is dear to us) reminds us that life is fragile and that even the ‘superstars’ at some point must fall for good. I was sitting in the car yesterday with my kids after swimming at the pool. The bag of goggles was left on the table with the big umbrella – We waited while Kaleb ran back to grab them. We turned on the radio as we waited for him to make the goggle grab dash! To my surprise, every station was playing a Michael Jackson song. I stopped on “Bad” and started to tell my kids about what an influence his music had during my childhood years. They laughed as I told them about the moonwalk dance move, the flashy glove and the importance of owning a Michael Jackson button (pin on kind) in the 5th grade. The badge gave you status – everyone wanted one! I think the badge during those years would be equal with the need for an ipod or cell phone? Times have changed! My memories were jolted by a voice on that radio that simply said: “Michael Jackson - Dead at age 50.” I never knew him personally and yet, that news hit me. I turned to my kids and said: “Wow! I can’t believe it. “

His music (like all music from my past) always transports me back to times and places that have come and gone. Music has such a powerful way of taking us back and reminding us of certain moments in our lives. When I heard the news of his death, I realized that his voice and music will always be a part of my life! It’s etched in my memories of growing up. His death (on a global scale) makes us realize that our days are truly gifts and reminds us that we are mortal.

Oh sure, we’ll still have all his old stuff and the memories of where we were when we first heard the song “Thriller” or had the guts to get on the gym dance floor in Jr. high and try the ‘moonwalk’ – those memories stay with us as long as we choose to let them. What we don’t have are new songs to fill with new memories. And that is the part that we tend to dwell on when someone leaves us. We wonder – what if …

What if he lived another 10 years…
What songs would he write and sing?
What dance move would new generations have to try on the hardwood floor of the school gym?

These are questions we’ll never have answered. But what we do have is the realization that life is a precious gift. And we get to choose what we’ll do with every single moment of it.

So today in honor of Michael Jackson and his musical influence – I say to you:

Dance the ‘moonwalk’, sing “Bad” as loud as you can in the shower and if you happen to see an old pin on button of Michael Jackson – remember that at one time in history … those made a person cool!


Shaela said...

a beautiful tribute to an american icon.

Frank Marcopolos said...

Hi Wendy, I won't sing "Bad," but I might sing "Dirty Diana" or "Smooth Criminal!"

(In fact, I just found those 2 on my iTunes and am playing them now!

O. Joy said...

You wonderfully put into words all I have been thinking & feeling. he was the icon from "our generation". Hard when someone that young goes. But what an imprint & legacy he left for the world!

Jennie Stanfield said...

I just had a chance to listen to your radio talk show were so amazing! Seriously, you are so great at putting your thoughts into words and being so professional. I really enjoyed listening...thanks for sharing. Love you.

Diana Strinati Baur said...

Wendy, you hit on something that I have been pondering since Michael Jackson passed away. There are so many occasions when "life" seems to spin out of our control and we are left feeling fragile and helpless. When I think about Michael Jackson, who, without his musical genius, would have simply been a fragile person with difficulties coping with life, I get a better picture of how the intensity of all the events in his life led to tragedy. There is a lesson for all of us- to distance ourselves from the outcome of events, to treasure, as you so eloquently put it, the small moments and to keep a clear, rested mind.

I am already getting so much from you! It is amazing. Now I am going to try and find that radio talk show interview Jennie commented on :)