Mom: "Are you listening to the radio?"
Me: "No, I'm listening to my book on tape."
Mom: "Well, there's some bad news, but I'll tell you when you get here."
Mom: "It's not family or anything."
Me: "Okay, I'll see you in a few minutes."
This was the conversation I had with my mom when I called to tell her I was just around the corner from her house to pick up my kids. I pulled into her driveway, and she came out of the house in the searing Texas heat to deliver the bad news: Farrah Fawcett had died, and the news is saying the Michael Jackson is DEAD! What?! I hurried into the house to see what all of the hoopla was about. CNN was reporting that MJ had suffered cardiac arrest and been transported to UCLA Hospital where he was in a coma. The LA Times was already reporting that MJ was dead, but CNN continued to report that they had not confirmed that. Some of the more recent pictures of my former future husband (Carol B. & I probably would have split him like a wish bone trying to decide who actually got to marry him...as if!) were troubling. Bless his heart, he looked like something off of Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas." I was wondering how in the world Mom could say this wasn't a family thing when this was her former future son-in-law, dead at 50 years of age.
I laughed and joked and remembered the silly teenager that I was when Michael was at the top of his game in the late 70's (Off the Wall) and early 80's (Thriller). I told Aaron & Alisa to go home and put on something black so we could mourn their "almost daddy."
My good friend and fellow die-hard Michael Jackson fan, Carol B., called the minute I walked in the door. She said it was a sad, sad day. First one of our Charlie's Angels and then Michael J. himself. We joked a bit and ended our call. I called my sister-in-law who was already offering grief counseling to a distraught friend in the entertainment business.
Now that the television is off, and the house is relatively quiet, the true sadness is beginning to settle in. The shock of the news is dissipating and the reality and finality are weighing heavy on my heart. My eyes are stinging as I type...I didn't really expect such an emotional response until the star-studded funeral arrangements unfolded on the television sometime next week. I've got that lump in my throat going on, too. I'd better go for now. Alisa is waiting for me to join her for a round of "Mall Madness." Good night. Until next time...