Friday, June 26, 2009

Before You Judge Me, Try Hard to Love Me

Those are lyrics from Childhood.

When I was a young girl, I was a figure skater. I was at the arena pretty much every day after school. I remember one day, a day like any other, one of my skating buddies asked me if I had the new Michael Jackson album. I said "Who's that?" She couldn't believe I hadn't heard of him. She told me how cool he was and my response was, "Is he white?"

I have always remembered that day and I will probably always remember yesterday. I was picking Freckles up from her last day of school and we were driving home. I turned on the radio and they were playing Thriller. I turned it up and we were all doing the car dance (the one where just your upper body moves because you are strapped in your seat). We were happy and smiling and then the announcer came on and said that he had died.

I was, like everyone else, in disbelief. I didn't know what to think. I was kind of sad but wasn't sure if that was overreacting. Over the last day and a half, I have heard so much of his music on the radio and have realized, no, I'm not overreacting. This is a big deal. He was an icon for my generation. His songs were anthems of my childhood. Thriller was the first cassette I bought with my allowance.

As I look at all the controversy that surrounded him in the latter part of his life, all I can think of is how we saw a man who really needed help but never got it. We don't know what was going on with him but we do know that he was thrust into the spotlight at a very early age and stayed there ever since.

So I am allowing myself to get misty-eyed and watch all the news and entertainment shows. I feel that a part of my childhood has passed into legend and I am sad. I choose to remember the Michael Jackson that rocked my teenage world.

This morning on the radio, one of the announcers paid tribute to him and I have to quote him because I think he really got it right. This is from C.R. Nichols from Joe FM:

"There is a sweet joy in his music that he never seemed to find in his life...You can never escape when the person chasing you is you...We remember what we want to remember and we so very much want to remember that magical man that set our hearts and our feet dancing decades ago when we were young."


everydayMOM said...

so true... I found myself getting teary eyed several times thinking about him... He seemed to try so hard to make other people happy, but couldn't find that happiness himself.

laurel.byron said...

You couldn't have said it better Cindi! Nice tribute!