The Sadness of Michael Jackson's Death

My fiance's first response was "Little boys all over the world are safe again!" My daughter wondered how she could make money. Another daughter worried that Farrah Fawcett might not get the media attention she deserved after her valiant fight with cancer. My response was "Stop! I'm sad!"

I was not a huge Michael Jackson fan like my friend Mary. I didn't have posters of him on my wall when I was younger and I never attended one of his concerts. I didn't care for much of his later music. Yet my life was linked with his because we were the same age and the media brought him into my home throughout his life.

For much of his life, the media attention was positive. Even though I didn't care for some of his music, there was no denying that he was a very talented person. His unique style, voice, dance and choreography stood out and was hailed and imitated all over the world. He was the king of music videos, and "Thriller" is always on "best of" lists. His various releases coincided with events in my life and hearing those songs brings back many memories.

I remember seeing "Thriller" for the first time at my friend Gwen's house. She was cutting and perming my hair that had been long and straight for years and she was really enthusiastic about the originality of the video. In later years, my daughter Melanie was enthralled with the same video.

I was outraged when Mariah Carey remade "I'll Be There." I hated her version. That was a Michael Jackson song that should have only been sung by him. His voice made that song. The only remade versions of his songs that I could tolerate were those done by Weird Al Yankovic, and that's not the same thing as a remake. (Unlike Michael, I did see Weird Al in concert.)

 My parents had mostly country music in the house, but they did buy the original version of "Meet the Beatles," "Tommy James and the Shondells", and "The Jackson 5". That was my introduction to rock and roll until my older brothers let me listen to their collections.

Yes, I was sad when I heard Michael Jackson died. He was the same age as me, which is too young. He had children and family who will miss him. He was attempting a comeback that could have given him every reason to live, and was actually a very brave thing to do considering that the media blasts him for every thing he does and many things he doesn't do. He had the courage to follow his dreams and he never let health conditions stop him. He was a human being with flaws and emotions who kept trying and succeeding despite the odds against him.

And he brought back memories. I hate losing memories.

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