Two years ago I was stunned to find my 12-year-old niece watching Jackson 5 videos on You Tube. I said to her, “You know who they are?” She shot me a strange look and said “Yeah..I’ve been listening to them and Michael Jackson every since I can remember – my mom always plays their music. This was fascinating because I too love them and was dumbfounded that someone so young would know and appreciate their music. We must have sat in front of the computer together that evening for hours going through videos and songs from their collections. I filled her in on the history of the Jacksons and played some of my favorite songs..it was a true bonding moment. It was also the first time she got to see Michael Jackson’s infamous “moonwalk”. I watched her face as he floated across the floor..she sat there mesmerized and in a trance like state…she reacted pretty well the same way I did when I first saw him do it all those years ago.
As with most people around the world, I was shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Michael Jackson. For my generation – growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, losing MJ is comparable to the generations before us who lost Elvis and John Lennon. We will always remember what we were doing and how we felt when we first heard the news on June 25, 2009.
His music continuously played out in my life from a very young age to my late teens. Growing up as a teenager, it wasn’t always cool being an MJ fan but I can honestly say that his music was the foundation in forming some of my most memorable and deepest friendships because of our common interest in MJ’s music.
In the days following MJ’s death, I find myself constantly listening to his music from the 70’s and 80’s. His passing created some sort of void – emptiness in me that wasn’t there before. I reconnected with his music again but this time it seems much different. Not only do I feel sad about Michael Jackson sudden and tragic death, I’m also finding that when I listen to his music, memories of the 80’s constantly flow – most flashbacks are of fun and happy moments and they make me smile but I also experience sadness because some of his songs remind me of lost friendships. The very same friendships that bonded through his music are long gone and I’m living that all over again. It’s like Michael Jackson death drudged up thoughts that were buried and went unresolved. I find myself asking questions. What happened? Why did these friendships end? Where are they now?
I’m happy to say that I’ve reconnected with some of these old friends, thanks to Facebook but I also accept the fact that some friendships might not ever be rekindled. I still miss certain friends from days gone by and believe that everyone’s path in life is different and not all friendships are met to last forever.
I will always have my fond memories of them and the innocent times bonding over Michael Jackson’s music. I hope one day I will have the opportunity to sit around with these special friends reminiscing about the good old days, starting each conversation with..Hey..remember the time when…as MJ’s music plays in the background.