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


  1. Oh Betty, you are so much like Michael. That was so loving!! Beautiful story!! - Love Bonnie

  2. Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing !

  3. Suveni Kaul
    U know I was writing a comment on ur latest post however before I cud post it I lost the page Anyway, let me tell u that when I reached the point where the homeless guy told u his name was "Michael" and not Willie...I was laughing and crying at the same time for a few minutes...

    How much this name means to us...really...

    Rumi once said, "When you die don't make the tombs your resting place but the hearts of men". Michael took this advice far too seriously I think He made "shrines" for him-self in our hearts...not just plain old tombs :-)

    1. In response to your comment I've added a picture of Michael in his Uncle Willy disguise. Thank you so much for sharing this info. <3 Scroll to the bottom of the story to see the picture.

  4. Betty.... I'll have to tell you about a song he wrote called "Soup's on". Thanks for the tears in my eyes.

  5. * Just received this comment from a 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 ♥