Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Soup Is Hot!

Yes it does rain in Southern California. Today with the first real rain storm of the winter season and it was pouring down as my son, Justin, his girl friend, Megan and myself traveled to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles for my birthday. Not the best weather for this outing but I am happy to spend time together no matter the weather. Many fond memories come back of wonderful times at the Getty with my son when he was younger, spending hours and hours lost in the beauty. I love to wander the galleries in this grand place. Beauty surrounds you at every turn. The architecture, the stone, the grounds all tell a story, a feast for the eye everywhere you look. The rain did not allow the tour of the incredible gardens but the views inside were magnificent. So we happily spent the day gazing at paintings from the masters like Monet, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir, Van Gogh and many more artists I don’t know the names of so readily, exquisite sculptures and the most amazing and riveting red on black photographic story of slave history that simultaneously moved me to tears and took my breath away.

Michael Jackson is never far away in my thoughts and when I saw this painting from the 1700's it reminded me of Michael at the Superbowl. Hee Hee

                                           Statue of A Boy and a Frog.
After seeing everything we had come to see at the Getty we decided to have dinner nearby at BJ’s in Westwood. Everything happens for a reason. We searched for a parking spot to no avail then circled the block coming back just in time to see a car leaving just around the corner from BJ’s and slid right in behind them as they left. The rain had let up a bit and now was just a steady drizzle as we stood at the parking meter feeding it change. Behind me I heard a voice, “Hello can you spare some money?” I turned and looked and there stood a shaggy black man with a big toothless smile. He had on layers of clothes and a beanie. I nodded back at him to acknowledge a hello and kept feeding the parking meter. He waited until we were done feeding the machine and said, “If you can spare some money... it’s for food.” I am always leery of handing over my hard earned money to the homeless thinking it may go to alcohol or drugs so that statement assuaged that thought a bit. I looked at him closer now as he smiled big, he touched my heart. I said, “I’ll bring you back some food. Ok?”  His face brightened as he said, “Oh that would be great. I’ll be right here. See there’s my bed” as he pointed to the doorway inlet of a store where his sleeping bag and some personal belongings were stored dry and out of the rain, then said, “This is where I’m staying. I’ll be right here.” I gave him the thumbs up as we walked on our way to assure him we were not blowing him off.

Megan and I shared an umbrella as we forged on down the city street to BJ’s with Justin walking just behind us in his rain gear. I shared with her under the umbrella, “I dunno but he looks like his name might be Willie. What do you think?” She agreed but then we both agreed his name may be Sam or Joe as we had no idea. I regretted not asking his name. We went inside the restaurant and the first thing I thought was what would be best for Willie. Maybe chili or soup or a sandwich? Megan and I discussed what Willie might like to eat and Justin asked, “Who’s Willie?” We laughed and Megan chimed in, “Oh that’s what we think the homeless man’s name might be.” He nodded and smiled and we all decided maybe chili or soup would be the best. I said, “I’m not sure why but this homeless man has become so very important to me just since we met him and walked around the corner. I just really want him to have a hot meal on this cold rainy day.”

We made our own choices for dinner and ordered, enjoyed our meal together as always. I so love to spend time with my son and Megan. We talk about anything and everything and they don’t mind my Michaelness. In fact they have grown to enjoy it... I think. In any event they seem to. LOL We topped off the meal with a shared birthday piezookie and vanilla ice cream. It was just delicious. Thinking of the homeless man I was so grateful for my family, the togetherness and warm meal we had just shared. We gathered Willie’s food, a stuffed baked potato with cheese and broccoli, steaming hot tortilla soup and a holiday spritzer with lime slices to wash it down. Justin carried the food as we walked around the corner. Our hungry man by this time was nestled up in his sleeping bag in the doorway, almost undetectable as he was entirely covered including his head. I said, “Hello are you there?” He popped up out the sleeping bag and startled me making me jump. Justin gave him his food as I told him, "The soup is hot." He gratefully thanked us. I couldn’t stand it another minute. I had to know the real name of this man who had touched my heart with only a few sentences... so I asked. I fully expected him to say Willie... but instead he looked up at me and said, “Michael.” My jawed dropped. I was speechless. Justin and Megan both looked at me as I just stood there completely taken off guard, realizing the weight of that one word, that name in this situation. My heart was so full. My hand had gone to my heart and I was patting my chest, my heart, as I looked at him. Justin and Megan told him again the soup was hot and to enjoy his meal to fill the silence as I stared at him mouth open. After what seemed like a long silence all I could get out was, “Michael? Michael.” He nodded at me. I NEVER expected him to say Michael. He smiled really big and his eyes sparkled as he said, “I’ll eat the soup first. Thank you.”  I finally said, “Enjoy your food. God bless you, Michael.”

We loaded into the car and as we drove away he waved good bye with a big smile from the shelter of his doorway. The power of the moment was not lost on any of us. Megan was first to say, “We were absolutely supposed to park there. We were supposed to be right there where he was.” My son said, “He said his name was Michael, he could have said Mike. Most people would say Mike but he said Michael.” This is the first time my son and his girlfriend have been a part of a Michael experience with me. We all three felt the warmth of the blessing from the Lord, the Michael blessing. They now understand and have experienced with me how Michael Jackson continues to touch my life in amazing ways. Michael's LOVE lives on. I am so happy the Lord brought us, all four, to that moment in time for such a blessing. What a simply beautiful day, rain and all, filled with so much joy, affection and LOVE and to top it off we met the most endearing man, Michael.♥ 

After  posting I received this comment from reader: Door Bos

As Jermaine writes in his book You are not alone: once Michael wanted to visit a show of Jermaine; he had to go in disguise because he wanted all the attention for Jermaine and not for himself; he walked in the dressing room of Jermaine and a friend introduced him as "Uncle WILLIE".Even Jermaine didn't recognize Michael. Isn't it nice when 2 things come together? Thanks for this beautiful story ♥

Thank you for this picture Bonnie MJ-Upbeat

*Also after posting this story it was pointed out to me that Michael said "I'll be right here." Twice! ET's famous words. This to me is again NO coincidence. A touch from above.

♫ "Where ever you maybe, I'll look up and see someone in the dark for me."♫ 

Michael, you'll forever be my someone in the dark. Thank you. RIP Michael ♥ 

"I'll be right here."

Michael so loved the story of ET. The same year he won the Grammy for Thriller he also won a Grammy for Best Children's Album, ET: The Extraterrestrial Storybook. He said that was the one Grammy he was most proud of.  


Two of many candle chandeliers displayed at the Getty. I love chandeliers.  :)

Just love this picture. So tender and sweet. I believe it's called The Young Girl.
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby
some have entertained angels unawares.”
Hebrews 13:2

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My Birthday Wish - Guilty!

It was my birthday this week, my co-workers filled my day with joy, blessing me with an incredible Michael fantasyland. Turning my cubicle in the land of beige cubicles into a Michael wonderland. It was a beautiful sight to see those who are not even MJ fans dancing down the isle singing Thriller. Smiling and nodding, commenting “Wow” "Cool" “Awesome” “Beautiful” “Amazing.”  Many talked about how incredible Michael was. This kind and thoughtful gesture, the fact that they cared about what was important to me and honored me with this gift on my birthday was a huge blessing for me at a time when I needed it most. They shared about how much fun they had putting it all together and uncharacteristically surprised me with hugs. It was simply amazing. MJ was literally everywhere as I toiled through my work day lifting me and all who came near. Michael’s magic was in the smiles and wonder on the faces of those who came to gaze. There is an unmistakable look you see on the face of those who truly love Michael. There is a softness in their eyes which stems from their heart and fills their face. That certain adoration and smile is unmistakable to others who love Michael. I saw that look on a new co-worker as she stood outside my cube and we immediately bonded. She shared how much she and her husband love MJ, how hard she cried when he died, how they were so incredibly excited for ‘This Is It’ at the O2, for Michael's come back even though they couldn’t afford to go. She fondly shared how her grandparents lived across the street from the Jackson family on Hayvenhurst when she was little during the Thriller era while Michael still lived there. How as an 8 year old she’d play out front and would see all the cars coming and going from the Jackson home. She remembered standing in the front yard one afternoon looking at all the comings and goings asking her mom, “Why are all those cars there, mommy? Who lives there?” and her mother’s quiet, respectful answer, “A VERY special, famous person honey, Michael Jackson. You don’t know who he is now but one day you will.” She shared how growing up she watched all of Michael’s videos and fell asleep to his music every night. Yes I teared up several times on my birthday at work. It was very difficult to concentrate on work as MJ LOVE surrounded me all day.

Let’s face it I am an oldster now, part of the Baby Boomer generation. AARP started mailing me my application 10 years ago now and I still haven’t filled out that dag-nabbet thang. Hee Hee I don’t feel old, I still feel like a kid some days and act like it many other days. Its not my cup of tea to celebrate my birthday now that the children are grown and gone and I am single. Instead I like to celebrate life all year long. I love to laugh and often treat myself to special precious moments, occasional items I want just because I deserve them, because they make me happy. Hee Hee My birth-day is a day I just simply like to forget but lately no one let’s me. To me its the day when I have to acknowledge the logged time on this earth which as it mounts in today’s work day world and today’s society is not always kind. Sometime... as Michael always said the word... leaving off the s. I just love that Michaelism. There were several he said that way but this is my fav.  So much so that now when I hear ‘sometimes’ it sounds incorrect, yet in all actuality it is incorrect, because you are usually talking about one time, not many. The English language is funny. So once again Michael is right... but I digress... 'Sometime' it seems the older you get the less you are needed. The less important you become. No matter how much I loved my mother I watched her experience this. Then like the beautiful woman she was I saw her rally with great altruistic volunteerism for the poor.

In the Michael Jackson world age does not matter. Our Peter Pan never wanted to grow old and sadly for the world his wish came true. LOVE for Michael spans all generations and just like Peter Pan will never grow old. I recently heard a friend talk about how there was a lovely lady, a 91 year old Michael Jackson fan sharing her huge heart of LOVE for Michael with some Jackson family members. Then right along side her clearly also showing his giant LOVE and admiration of Michael was a little 3 year old boy dressed just like Michael dancing his heart out doing Michael’s spins and everything. Michael’s LOVE knows no boundaries. Only Michael Jackson could bring the world together in this way.

Sometime as the fans gather at parties and events I look at them all with such wonderment and picture Frosty’s ‘Island of Misfit Toys.’ To me its fitting, people from all nationalities, religions, ages, every demographic, crossing all realms of society. Michael reached out to the suffering and broken, we identified with Michael’s pain long before we heard him talk about it in the now famous slurred tape recording the monster made after he had drugged him. A tape clearly marked for evil which only proved and revealed to the world Michael’s true heart of innocent, pure love for children as well as his deep hurt and pain. The MJ community is home to many who hurt. His music and LOVE for the world carried so many through difficult life situations, illnesses and debilitating loneliness and pain... still does. Some even say it saved their lives. How can that be? Simply because Michael put everything he was into his music. He gave his ‘everything.’ He was the music and as he has openly shared, the source of his music was God. God is LOVE. God is healing. So those notes, his voice, the words, the music still today are a living breathing legacy of Michael’s spiritual life on this planet. Still bringing life and healing for generations to come For All Time. His LOVE will NEVER stop, our LOVE for Michael will never stop, his LOVE lives on in us. We will never let go of our Minstrel of Peace and LOVE.

A beautiful interview of Michael by Geraldo Rivera during the trial of 2005. Michael was hurting so badly during this time yet his true character of LOVE and wisdom shone so bright. I love this  interview of Michael, please take a look. The full interview is in a series of 5 on You Tube.

As I look back over this last two and half years I have met a multitude of amazing people from all over the world, experienced beautiful LOVE and forged friendships I will treasure always. I could never have dreamed that the deep pain and grief I was inexplicably experiencing for someone I have never met would lead me to the beautiful, enriching friendships I now hold dear.

I have also seen and experienced the other side as well, the incredibly horrific and cruel fighting within the MJ community. I have wondered off and on if any of them have listened to Michael’s words and learned anything from him at all. I have seen incredible amounts of narcissism and self promotion using MJ’s name. Sometime I have even wondered why some of them state they are Michael Jackson fans because they clearly never understood what he was about.

After all the in-fighting, all the stress, all the tension of fighting for Justice each in our own way the long awaited verdict day arrived. For me it was one of the most stressful days of the last two and half years. The trial had been like reliving Michael’s death over and over again, ripping at my heart, pulling the scab off daily. I felt just plain raw and very vulnerable, pain oozing out of a broken heart again.  Every emotion imaginable running through me, bubbling over. I know I wasn’t alone. I had great faith that the monster would be found guilty but still the emotions boiled. I made several visits to Holly Terrace to pay respect to Michael and share that we were not giving up and JUSTICE was coming. I had fans approach me saying “What if he is found not guilty?” I refused to speak about that, refused to give it any power. For me I had prayed and given it to the Lord, thanked him in advance for a Guilty verdict. That would be the only out come I would consider. I shied away from anyone during the trial who wanted to discuss the possibility of the opposite. I stuck close to my faith filled praying friends. My faith would not be shaken. Unable to attend at the court house because of work I was just beside myself. I had fans texting me and calling me at work daily... then FINALLY... verdict day arrived... the verdict myself and so many others had prayed for was read... GUILTY! Conrad Murderer pronounced GUILTY in a court of law! We were all jubilant! I watched my computer screen at work as the fans at the courthouse cried, screamed, fainted, smiled, jumped up and down, laughed, sang, danced and drove by the court house honking. Finally JUSTICE!
Personally I became very quiet and introspective not sure what I was feeling. A co-worker came by saying, “I thought you’d be jumping up and down screaming for joy?” I too thought the same thing but I wasn’t. Instead after a loud whispered “GUILTY” I openly thanked the LORD then quietly turned inward. Definitely there was happiness and relief, just a feeling of drinking in the JUSTICE. Soaking in the wonderful sight of ‘Take No Crap’ Bailiff Deputy Jones slapping the cuffs on Conrad Murderer before he could even stand up. YES!! God bless Deputy Jones! I LOVE that man so much! Then seeing him being led away to jail. Only to hear moments later he was no longer in his slick documentary bought $uit, that he was immediately stripped of it and was now wearing a jail house orange jump suit. FINALLY on his way to be put behind bars where he long deserved to be. As I beheld him in cuffs being led away a satisfied elated smile started at my face and traveled to my toes as I pictured him in that ill fitting orange jump suit, short in the crotch and up to his calves and elbows since he is a giant excuse for a human being. This small embarrassment rendered on such a narcissistic monster brought much satisfaction picturing him stripped of ‘things’ that were more important to him than the life of Michael Jackson.

Upstairs in the courthouse Steve Cooley held a press conference to try to claim victory and credit as if he was the one personally responsible for the guilty verdict. I laughed out loud later as I watched on TV seeing that La Toya’s leaving the court house and speaking to the press interrupted and bumped him from the screen. It was hilarious! Yes, Steve Cooley, the family of Michael Jackson IS far more important than you! All the while David Walgren who fought hard for Michael, who showed the heart of a Lion of LOVE appalled by the injustice, the atrocity of what was done to Michael stood silently by Cooley waiting patiently to say his peace. I just love that man. David Walgren our hero. There were many heroes for us MJ Fans during the trial. David Walgren a mighty warrior in Michael’s Army of Soldiers of LOVE, Deborah Brazil a strong pillar for truth “And when you refer to your instrument...”, Dr. Alon Steinberg blew the truth right out of the darkness into the light, Dr. Steven Shafer slammed the truth out of the park and put the golden seal on it. I LOVE each of them and will feel eternally grateful to all of them for publicly speaking the truth that tens of thousands of MJ fans have been sharing for over two years. Verdict Day was a great day of Good conquering Evil!

Yet there is so little justice, like table scraps we all scurry, grasping for any minuscule justice we can get. Finally ‘some’ JUSTICE for Michael. We’ll take whatever we can get. Did they count on that? Yet still now I revel at the word GUILTY. That word will forever have a different joyous meaning for me. Yet there was a nagging feeling I couldn’t shake, pressing at my heart, echoing inside, the emptiness, the silence... getting louder. Still there.. nothing had really changed... still there. The same silence that clanged like a giant door slamming shut when the light of Michael Jackson’s life left this earth. Yes there it was STILL. Although I felt Michael was there on Verdict Day, both outside and inside the courthouse many, many times all the way back to the first Airport Courthouse Arraignment of Conrat Murderer, still that feeling of silence was ever present. Nothing... nothing we ever do will bring back Michael. He is gone.... forever. There is NO JUSTICE in this tragedy. The reality is nothing will ever bring back Michael. Further true justice will only be served up by God himself for all those responsible for the death of Michael Jackson. Clearly that process of killing Michael started over 10 years ago when those that wanted what Michael had plotted and schemed to steal it from him by using vile accusations and lies to tear his spirit and heart apart. For Michel truly died of a broken heart.

Excerpt from a story about Angelica Huston who starred with him in Captain EO:
(unsure of the source)

Conrad Murray is not the first nor the last person to be privy to Michael Jackson's dream for children. In an article by Italian journalist Silvia Bizio, Anjelica Huston who played opposite Jackson in the Captain EO film for Disney, accidentally ran into Michael Jackson about a month before he died. They hugged, hunkered down in a room together and caught up on each others' lives. 

Huston remembered Michael as being tender and fragile, having trouble mustering up enough anger to carry out his role as Captain EO with a spaceship crew who sings 'We are here to change the world.' She said it was as if anger didn't live in his DNA. He needed her there, in costume and sneering her lines to play off her villainous character. Huston said he seemed even more fragile especially emotionally, during their brief encounter. She put her arms around him; she says:

"We talked about how he had felt humiliated by the accusation of sexual harassment and about the sorrow for the loss of Neverland, where he had lived many years. I remember his words: 'They ruined my dream. I had this dream, perhaps childish and foolish, a place designed to celebrate the innocence of that childhood that I never had, and they took it from me. I love children, I could never do them harm. I spent all my life loving them and trying to do good things for them. The libel of harming a child--that breaks my heart. It is an unbearable pain, those accusations are unjust and terrible...' As he said these things, he began to cry. I held him in my arms...He was so skinny and frail."
Jackson told her he was preparing for the London concerts. She remembers: 

"He was training hard because he would have 'no more hope to be loved back again.' He wanted to be let back in to the hearts of the public after his public lynching for something he said he didn't do and a jury of his peers agreed with. Huston goes on: "he was thin and pale; I could feel so much pain in him for the past and a lot of anxiety and uncertainty for the future."

When asked by Bizio, "What do you think really killed Michael Jackson?' Anjelica Huston didn't hesitate: "Michael had a broken heart. For this he died. The truth is that they broke his heart."

The sentencing of Conrat Murderer will be Nov. 29th. I am holding on to hope, praying that Judge Pastor will hand him the full sentence. Clearly now the whole world has seen and understands the atrocity done to Michael. Yes I’m now holding my breath and praying Judge Pastor will remain strong in his conviction of CM and sentence him to the full 4 years. Wait 4 years? YUP! Is this a joke? GUILTY of killing the King of Pop! A murdering sociopath with no conscience and the maximum sentence is 4 years? We all knew this outcome yet we fought for Michael. All the MJ fans from around the world pleaded for a second degree murder charge to no avail. Those in charge said they didn’t want to risk a higher charge taking a chance that a jury would allow him to walk. In court when the truth was exposed many were appalled asking, “Why wasn’t this charged as second degree murder?” I was told by a well meaning person at work, that I wanted to punch, “The real punishment is that he has lost his medical license.” Really? That for me is little consolation, yet still I muster joy about this too. That is until I learn after a certain amount of time he can gain back his medical license. What? The reality is as of this date only two states have cared enough about the safety of the public to revoke his medical license. He could move to Hawaii and practice there in four years. Wow is that a punishment or a reward for a job well done? This is what we fought for? This is what our hero David Walgren so valiantly fought for? My brain, my heart simply can’t accept this. All who know me know although I revel in the GUILTY verdict, I simply can’t accept this. I stood proudly in front of that court house arm in arm with many of Michael’s Soldiers of LOVE as Michael’s voice, yelling “JUSTICE for Michael Jackson!!!” “Conrad Murderer!!!” I stood at the Michael Jackson Hollywood Star hours on end handing out fliers with many other Soldiers of LOVE in an attempt to teach the public the truth about Michael’s death. I held prayer vigils, started a Michael Prayer Warrior page. I would not stop or be swayed, I had a mission. Yes the mission is accomplished, success has been achieved!  Then why am I feeling so defeated? So empty?

Very Funny but soooo true. This MJ fan says it best:

I am a long time resident of California. I wish I could say I am proud of the justice system in California but I have seen how those in charge work... at the top $teve Cooley and Jerry $ Brown. Truthfully and blatantly there will NEVER be true justice for Michael Jackson. To me its not a coincidence that a new law was put into place by Jerry Brown who has been known to take campaign contributions from the owner of AEG, Philip Anschutz. The timing of this new law regarding incarceration of convicts just as Conrad Murderer approaches the end of his trial for the homicide of Michael Jackson is no coincidence. It is also no coincidence that $teve Cooley the District Attorney of Los Angeles worked with hateful, bigoted Tom Sneddon during his vindictive, racially motived attack of Michael during the trial in 2005 while he wrongly attempted to convict, publicly bullied and humiliated Michael Jackson working as no better than a Klu Klux Klan lynch mob when raiding and vandalizing Michael’s precious home like the Gestapo, and then handcuffing MJ and dragging him off to jail all before the eyes of whole world. The same $teve Cooley who worked with Tom $neddon to persecute Michael Jackson on a world wide basis is the same one who stepped in about two years ago after the coroner’s office declared Michael’s death a homicide and intervened on Murray's behalf just as the L.A.P.D was ready to go arrest him and take him away in hand cuffs. Yes it was $teve Cooley who literally stopped the arrest of Conrad Murderer for killing Michael Jackson. That’s right it was $teve Cooley who said, “No Cuffs” for Conrad Murderer AND “No Arrest” accommodating him instead to take his time and stroll in freely on his own at his leisure. Absolutely no public show of justice for a dead human being let alone the most famous person on the planet. To use Chernoff’s ridiculous closing statement, “If it were anyone else but Michael Jackson...” Conrad Murderer would have been jailed for life long ago. Yes it was $teve Cooley who arranged for Conrad Murderer to walk a free man until 11-7-11 when a jury of everyday citizens finally spoke up for JUSTICE for Michael Jackson. 

There is a scripture in the Bible that speaks of being in the world but not of the world and every time I think of the injustice done to Michael Jackson while he was alive on this earth and now still after his death this verse comes to mind.

John 15:19 “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

Yes there are no coincidences. God is in control. The evil rule this planet and Michael was chosen by God to be an Angel of LOVE in a cruel and evil world. He was too good for this evil world. He with stood so much torment and persecution in his lifetime. It was pointed out recently in a wonderful group I belong to that even the burn on Michael’s head represented the calling that the Lord placed on Michael’s life. A human being chosen for a heavenly calling even as a child and at about the same age as Christ was called into ministry on this earth Michael suffered the horrific burn that changed his life forever. Much like a crown of thorns. He strove to live a good life committed to doing what God would have him do but he was human. Just like all of us he had his frailties, fears and insecurities only for Michael they were played out on global stage. Only Jesus is perfect and that is who he looked to for his inspiration and strength.

Life can be hard. There are lessons. I know the feeling of just not wanting to feel anymore, to just sleep, as I am a recovered alcoholic and drug addict of over 30 years now. I didn't drink just because it was fun and made me feel good, underlying my drinking and drugging was sheer utter PAIN and need to escape the pain. I have walked through many things in life stumbling blindly along, praying for God to help me through, even in sobriety, wondering why I have had to experience certain things in my life. My greatest lesson in life was learning to embrace the pain. Learning I was ‘allowed’ by God to experience some of my most painful moments in life simply because God wanted me to grow and learn certain lessons. Whether it was to learn to be humble, or to share how I overcame the pain and life lessons to help others, to pray more, or just to learn to patiently wait on the Lord and trust. I can’t say I have ever really learned well or mastered any of these things. The last lesson of patiently waiting is definitely not one of my strong suits. I have gotten myself into more jams simply because I leap out before the Lord, opened my big mouth and said something stupid or hurtful or jumped into things before praying for direction. God the loving father that he is always shows up in the 11th hour and saves me from my own stupidity turning the seemingly bad into his perfect will... if I am only willing to surrender. No matter what though there is always a lesson. Michael’s life taught us all by example to reach to God for inspiration in all that we do and to always give God credit for he is our source just as he was Michael’s source and all things flow from our creator. Michael’s flow was just much more massive than the regular person’s.

Michael’s life and death taught me I know nothing. Michael’s life and all that he gave this world and all that was done to him and continues to be done to him just ingrains the lesson for me “Don’t Judge.” You must step back and test the spirits in others. I won’t allow evil to enter and control my life. I won’t allow others to walk all over me. God gave us brains to use and we must be careful who we allow into our lives for God wants us to live in peace, harmony and LOVE free from chaos and strife. I am talking about judging others by the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, how they look or the clothes they wear, their weight, or how they speak, the amount of money in their pocket, who they love, where they live. I continue to learn this lesson over and over and over. I wonder sometime if I will ever learn it properly. I have wondered what is it in humans that doesn’t allow us to see the soul and heart of a person before we draw conclusions about them, or why since we are all made from the dust of the earth and it is dust we shall return to, why humans think one would be superior over the other. Michael Jackson instinctively LOVED, instinctively knew there was no difference and it didn’t matter if you were black or white, adult or child, a security guard or a world class performer. He touched the planet with his unconditional love and taught the world what LOVE was about. It is ALL about LOVE... L.O.V.E.

On verdict day I saw the miracle of LOVE that first brought MJ fans together after his death emerge once again. A huge majority of MJ fans who had fought and battled over the last two years came together in forgiveness and love at the court house on the first day of the trial. This wonderful spirit of unity carried on all throughout the trial. Then on verdict day and afterwards at verdict parties there was once again a giant out pouring of unconditional love, hugs and camaraderie just as there had been when we were all drawn together at Holly Terrace bearing our grief over the death of Michael Jackson.

His LOVE first brought us all together, JUSTICE for MICHAEL sent us spiraling but kept us going and finally JUSTICE served brought us back together again in gratitude, jubilation and VICTORY for Michael. Again God showed himself strong mending hearts for his honor and glory. LOVE prevailed in the MJ fan community, many prayers were answered for unity, peace and love. God restored JUSTICE, LOVE and Victory for Michael Jackson, his family and his fans around the world on 11-7-11.

We LOVE you Michael! We will be missing you For All Time. ♥ 
 Thank you for all you gave. RIP Michael

Michael, When we say we LOVE you it's For All Time. RIP Michael.
Video by Robyn Starkand 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Place Without No Name

I will forever be counting backwards from June 25, 2009. The day the world stopped rotating, when millions of people in every country on this planet stopped in their tracks and just stood still in shock. The day the void was felt around the world as the shining, bright light of Michael Jackson was snuffed out, ripped from this earth, Gone Too Soon.

Soon it will be Feb. 25. Exactly 20 months since Michael Jackson died, the anniversary day when my life changed forever, along with legions of fans around the world who believed their Peter Pan, King of Pop would live forever. I ask God all the time “Am I over Michael’s death? Am I done grieving now, Lord?” My answer comes with tears that flow, but thankfully it has gotten better. I know there are many people who personally knew Michael who grieve deeply still and may not ever be over loosing their dear, beloved friend. I can’t imagine their pain and heartache. I wondered many times why I have felt so deeply the loss of Michael, a man I had never met. Yet I know there are millions of Michael Jackson fans around the world who feel as I do. I talk to them daily on the internet. I am not alone.

There are so many beautiful people I have met since Michael’s death that I would simply not have ever met otherwise… they have greatly enriched my life. Sadly with no ill intent or desire to hurt anyone’s feelings I must say I would give up those friendships in a nano-second to have Michael Jackson back in this world again. The reality most have reluctantly come to is 'acceptance' since June 25th, 2009, acceptance that Michael is gone forever. It has been a process, the whole world grieving together. We still do research via the internet looking for anything new, holding on to anything we can about Michael Jackson, especially meaningful for me are new, true stories or articles and interviews. We are very excited when someone who was blessed to spend close personal time with MJ, like Dave Nordahl or Patrick Treacy, share about their personal accounts of time with Michael. Those stories are particularly precious to me.

Michael’s creative energy and genius will be forever memorialized in videos, books and music. Everywhere are traces of MJ in this world for all time. To those who love him those touches from Michael are unmistakably EVERY WHERE you look and listen. Wonderful reminders of how he has touched, changed, inspired and encouraged people every where. I wish so much that these things would have been more openly shared when he was alive so he could have seen and appreciated how much he was loved and admired while he walked this earth. That being said I believe he is in heaven, looking down, seeing all the LOVE.

Magical things have happened at Forest Lawn, Holly Terrace in the last 20 months. Too many to list them but I will touch here on only a few. One day on a visit to Holly Terrace my friend, Robyn, looked up into the sky to see Michael's toes pose crafted in the clouds at sunset. It was dusk, Michael's favorite time of the day. After a few double takes, the consensus was, quite unmistakably, YES! God had Michael’s famous feet on display directly over Holly Terrace. It is just SO like Michael to continue to entertain his fans in magnificent and imaginative ways.

I visit Forest Lawn’s Holly Terrace on a regular basis. I love to hear the different languages at Holly Terrace from visiting fans from all over the world. Although there have been a few special, quiet, reflective visits; I have rarely ever visited when no one else was present sharing their love for Michael, tears, hugs and heartache. At times the grief is palpable and paradoxically at the same time there is so much LOVE and joy. Michael Jackson went through living hell on this earth but paradoxically he was filled with immense portions of God’s LOVE. I believe it was that grace of God’s love that carried Michael through many hellish attacks. Michael’s good friend Michael Bush, his designer and friend for over 35 years once shared with me as a fan attending the MJ Autry exhibit, "Yes Michael glowed. He glowed. He could light up a room, a stage, an arena. You could be standing in a room alone and with no sound, he would enter and the feeling in the room would change. You could just feel him. You could have your back to him and you knew he was there with no words. He lit up the room." That glow was the LOVE of God in Michael. Every day he read the Bible. Every day he prayed. Michael turned to God as his source and continues to inspire me to do the same.

Today at Holly Terrace you can still feel that LOVE on occasion… the L.O.V.E. MJ talked of, the special love that filled Michael in massive portions and enabled Michael to glow. It is as if the Lord left a bit of Michael’s shining LOVE to fill the area and bless all who visit there, all who have come to honor His chosen one.

I am remembering back to a very special time, a particular day when the MJ fans, about 30 of us at the time, visited Holly Terrace together. That spirit of LOVE that filled MJ came down from heaven so heavily on that special day and very special visit. The breath of LOVE was so thick in the air it felt as though you could cut it with a knife. I felt it meld around me like a warm flowing blanket. Then like a living breathing being it moved and covered those around me. I remember turning to others and asking, “Do you feel that? Do you FEEL the LOVE?” and wondering if they would think I had lost my mind completely. Their faces still shine in my memory smiling back at me, glowing and nodding their heads and saying “Yes, Betty, I feel it too.” We were all glowing that day. I literally reached out into the thickness to grasp at air to try to touch it still saying, “Can you feel that? Can you feel the LOVE?” The spirit of LOVE descended out of heaven and I watched as each person perked up and settled down all at the same time, there was a massive joint effort to console, comfort and reassure others that they were loved and accepted. So many present seemed to be filled with that un-matchless peace that only God’s LOVE can bring. Tears always flow at Holly Terrace but this was a much different day. As it grew dark and we were forced to leave as the park closed, I reluctantly pulled myself away. I was floating on a cloud of MJ LOVE. We all shared meaningful and caring hugs and cried tears of joy that day. We all mourned together but that day the bright light of joy, happiness and LOVE that Michael shared in this dark world touched us all. A very tangible feeling of LOVE which I wore all the way home. The most luxurious, comforting feeling so uplifting and penetrating it lasted for days. That experience is one I will never forget and will treasure forever. I will also hold those who experienced that day with me in my heart For All Time. Some have become so very special to me, and are etched forever in my heart, I love them dearly. Only God could make that day happen. Only God could share such a gift of LOVE that way to confirm to us that Michael Jackson was a chosen child in his kingdom from the beginning of time, that God LOVES the King of Pop, has him close by His side where no one can ever hurt him again. Yet also knows and acknowledges our broken hearts, our need for healing.

Then several months ago at the end of summer, I received a special invitation to go inside Holly Terrace. I was able to walk the halls openly. Visit Michael up close. It is a very beautiful place inside. The “Ascension” windows are gorgeous. There are many sculptures of children through out the halls which I am certain Michael would have loved, but sadly not one of those sculptures is near Michael’s crypt. Although they can be easily purchased and placed anywhere you specify. Not far, only just down the hall from Michael’s beautiful marble crypt at the Ascension windows is a beautiful stained glass “Christmas” window designed for Dr. Eaton, the founder of Forest Lawn, who like MJ also loved children very much. The window depicts children celebrating on Christmas morning and immediately reminded me of Michael and his children and how very much they loved Christmas.

I took my personal moments at the crypt with Michael and paid my respects and said a few words I had wanted to share with Michael for a very long time, while touching the marble Bible that stands open in front of the gates where he lays just under the floor. There are large bronze wall urns on each side of the crypt which were filled with beautiful fresh flowers and many more large and small floral bouquets were placed inside the gated area at the base of the crypt. I was astonished to learn as I drank in the scene, and this was several months ago; there was something very important missing here. There was no identifying plaque or name of any kind on Michael’s crypt. There are name placards everywhere throughout the mausoleum but the most famous man who ever lived on this earth has “No Name” on his crypt. Now here it is 20 months since Michael’s death and still Michael’s crypt has no name.

The fans can peer through the tinted glass in the door, cupping their hands just right when the sun hits the Ascension windows at just the right time of day you can see to the end of the long hall and glimpse where Michael lays. No one is allowed in unless invited and approved by security. I respect that. Forest Lawn and the family have their rules. We still go and pay our respects to Michael from outside, meet one another and share our friendship and LOVE for Michael. We are still blessed on our visits to Holly Terrace but Michael deserves MORE! Why is there no place for fans to honor Michael openly, freely? Why hasn’t Michael at the very least received a plaque with his name?

All this came rushing home for me when my friend sent me a beautiful poem. She was pouring out her heart of feeling like a wandering, lost soul searching for her King, her beloved Michael. I have posted her poem with her permission below at the end of my blog. Please take time to read it. It is lovely.

Also my son’s beautiful girlfriend, Megan, traveled to New York City and shared her pictures with me of John Lennon’s “Imagine” Memorial in Central Park, which even more so planted the feeling that Michael needs MORE! Deserves MORE! The fans cry out for a place where they can go and honor their King publicly.

In New York City‘s Central Park across the street from the Dakota apartment building where John Lennon was assassinated on Dec. 8, 1980 there is a simple, circular, black and white tile, mosaic memorial and at the center the word “Imagine”. One simply can not read that word and not think of John Lennon. Hundreds of fans visit daily from around the world and freely leave flowers or tokens of love and respect for John Lennon.

Then surprisingly in Havana, Cuba, where his music was once banned, John Lennon was celebrated as a hero and immortalized in bronze by Fidel Castro, who in his later years considered Lennon a "fellow dreamer" and personally unveiled the statue in 2000 along with a tribute concert to John Lennon.

Then of course there is Elvis’ Memorial at Graceland which most certainly pays great homage to him. In thinking about Graceland and how beautifully they honor Elvis and allow the fans access to visit and leave flowers and tokens of love for him in beautiful ways that all can openly see, it certainly gave root to the feeling that having Michael back home at Neverland, with it fully restored to the glory days when MJ was happiest there with his children would be a wonderful thing indeed.

Jimmy Hendrix too has a beautiful memorial at Greenwood Memorial Park in
Renton, WA, his home town, which honors his creativity and a heart searching for love. It stands as a wonderful testament to the artistic talent God gave him. His own portrait and signature forever engraved on his tomb.

These wonderful entertainers who died tragic deaths are freely and openly honored. Fans visit and show their love and respect from all over the world. Yet for the most famous, the biggest entertainer in the world, the one who owned “The Catalog”, the one who continues to bring in BILLIONS of dollars for Sony and the Estate there is no fan access to his grave and STILL NO NAME plaque honoring Michael Jackson.

MJ’s unreleased 2009 Song “A Place Without No Name “
To me this double negative actually means ‘Take me to a place WITH a name!’ Could this have been prophetic? When it comes to MJ it is highly possible.

~ LOST Army of LOVE ~

We have no place to say goodbye
We have no place to stand and cry

We try to find a place close to your heart
To try and understand why you had to part

We write notes, burn candles and flowers we bring
We try to stay close to you, as we watch you dance and sing

We have lost a part of us and can’t believe you are not here
For all the photos and memories of you, we still hold dear

It's just so hard we have no place to grieve
But you are everywhere or so we believe

We go to Forest Lawn, Carolwood, Hayvenhurst
and Neverland just so we can see your face
But we are lost and have no tangible place

We are very sad, your Lost Army of L.O.V.E
We still try to find you in the moon and stars above

We listen to the wind, see the flowers and butterflies
And hope your spirit and soul did one night rise

We hope you are at peace and rest in your eternal sleep
Michael you were our gift so in our hearts safe we will always keep...

We have no place to say goodbye
We have no place to stand and cry

© Copyright Robyn Starkand July 9, 2010

** The beautiful picture of MJ silhouette in the Ascension windows is photo shopped by MJ fan Jan Carlson onto a picture she found online. 

UPDATE (Dec. 31, 2013):
Since first writing this story only 20 months since Michael leaving this world... I've made peace with the fact that Michael is laid to rest in the most appropriate place... fit for a King. The subject of the name on his tomb is a private matter for Mrs. Katherine Jackson and the children to deal with. I've no idea their reasoning, whether it is religious or personal but it's not for me to say. One day it is my hope that the fans are able to purchase a marble statue of children playing and place it near Michael's beautiful marble resting place. It would be so appropriate.