Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tribute: Michael Jackson

Five years ago today, I was pregnant with Braylee, sitting in the children's waiting room of Temple Hospital's ER because Jonan was running a high fever and our pediatrician's office was closed. As I checked my phone, I heard whispers from the other parents that Michael Jackson had died. I ignored them, certain it was another internet hoax.

Then came a frantic text message from my cousin Nate.

And a nudge from Horace that he was seeing the same thing online.

I checked my Facebook page and watched the unspeakable truth fill my news feed. Incredulity quickly dissolved into despair, and I buried my face in Horace's shoulder, crying my eyes out. As I came back to myself, I noticed the other adults in the room doing the same thing, hiding tear-stained faces from their children who didn't understand the significance of what had happened. "Michael Jackson is dead! Michael Jackson is dead!" one clueless child chanted until his mother recovered enough to silence him. It was one of those devastating moments I'll never forget, one that should not have happened that way.

Gone Too Soon, indeed.

Tomorrow is Throwback Thursday. But if anyone warrants acknowledgement a day early, it's Michael Jackson. And as we Remember the Time he spent with us, I invite you to share any Michael Jackson song, clip, or video you choose, for any reason it moves you.

Given his massive body of work, selecting a favorite song is impossible. But to kick us off properly, I'll share my favorite video.

I love this video for many reasons, starting with memories of watching it over and over again with David and Nate at my Aunt Bernice's. Despite the harsh reality the lyrics describe, the video is as smooth as the brim of Jackson's white hat and matching skinny tie. Many celebrate a later video for its famous dance sequence, but I think this one is his most elaborate and fascinating to watch.

I hereby present "Smooth Criminal," as presented in Moonwalker.

Five years later, and it still hurts. We miss you, Michael. Thanks for the music and memories.

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