The big news this week is the life and death of Michael Jackson, the "King of Pop." Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009 of a cardiac arrest possibly from an overdose of medication. He passed away just days before his "This Is It" tour for which he was rehearsing. Growing up I'd always thought of Michael Jackson as this "personality"...a kind of cartoon character with a shiny glove and crazy dance moves that people try to imitate and dress up as for costume parties, but after watching his memorial service today my eyes were opened to Michael Jackson, the little boy, the son, the brother, the daddy, the friend. Although his children may not be his biological children, he was the only father they have ever known. He was the one to tuck them in at night, to read them bedtime stories, and to provide for their needs. For the first time today I was able to get a good look at the faces of these children and I actually feel so sorry for them. I pray that God will give his children comfort in this difficult time. The memorial service was great - wasn't too over the top - and included performances and appearances by Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, Stevie Wonder, Smokie Robinson, Lionel Richie, Reverend Al Sharpton, Brooke Shields, and Queen Latifah. At the end of the memorial service, Michael's 11 year old daughter, Paris, spoke in front of 20,000 people and said, "From the day I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine...and I just want to say that I love him so much." Of all Michael's acievements, millions of records sold, millions of fans, a huge estate, concerts sold out, world fame...this sentiment from his daughter is his greatest accomplishment. He was her father who was "the best father you could ever imagine." I think the reason that Michael's death is so terribly sad to so many people is because it signifies an end of an era... the loss of a part of so many people's childhood. Everyone had tried to moon walk, wear a glove...and absolutely everyone sings along when one of his songs begins to play.
King of Pop...black or white...Jackson 5..."I'll be There"...child star...the glove...the chimp...skin disorder?...black shoes...white socks...He's "Bad"...the masks..."Man in the Mirror"...surgeries...Paris...giving back...blanket over the balcony...sex scandal...Neverland...young children...prescription drug addiction..."We are the World"...up on his toes..."Billie Jean"...the moonwalk...no nose?..."The Way You Make Me Feel"...Lisa Marie Presley...Prince Michael...breaking barriers...setting records..."Thriller"...the jacket...humanitarian...the hat...the moves...NO OTHER!