What are those four stages of grief? Denial. (Are you serious?) check. Anger. (How could this happen?) check. Depression (What a tragic loss.) check. Acceptance. (What can I learn from this?) check.
So, as I move on, I just thought that for the sake of posterity, I'd focus today's Thursday 13 post on things I'll remember about Michael Jackson:
1) Very carefully writing the lyrics to I'll Be There on that thick-ruled primary manuscript paper in a love note to SH in second grade. (He never got it, of course, because I had one of those mothers who went through all my stuff every day. She found the note and that was that.)
2) Bringing my parents' brand new 45 of the Jackson's Dancing Machine to class in sixth grade. For one day I wasn't the too-tall goodie-two-shoes who talked "proper." I was the inspiration for an impromptu Soul Train line in the middle of the room. Being in good with the teacher has its perks. ;)
3) Cutting an ABC 45 off the back of a cereal box to play on my red Close and Play record player.
4) Wanting to marry Michael Jackson.
5) Teen magazines that always pitted the Jackson 5 against the Osmonds. So no contest. . .
6) College skate parties with PYT in the background.
7) Watching Michael moonwalk during his Billie Jean performance on that Motown 25th anniversary show.
8) Standing around waiting for the airing of Thriller on MTV. (Then, as a former dancer, trying desperately over the years to learn the steps to Thriller, Beat It, Billie Jean, Smooth Criminal, The Way You Make Me Feel, et. al.)
9) Standing in line very pregnant, for three hours, outside a downtown Detroit AAA office to purchase tickets to see Michael Jackson at the Palace of Auburn Hills during the Pepsi tour.
10) Buying a copy of the Off the Wall CD to replace the album upstairs in my bedroom.
11) Wondering why on earth he picked that Rowe girl over me. ???? LOL
12) Playing Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson CDs in the car so often that all three of my kids (who span 13 years) know the words to his songs. He is as present-day to them as any of their current (and, yes, temporary) fave "artists."
13) Making sure to buy a copy of Ebony magazine's collector's edition tribute to Michael in honor of Thriller's 25th anniversary.
Not believing he'd died when I heard the news and read the ticker across the bottom of CNN, but coming to accept the magnitude of the loss in the days and weeks that followed. I feel proud to understand why he meant what he did to music and the world. Honored that I was along for the ride.