Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Michael Tour - Holly Terrace

"... Too pure for this earth, too beautiful to stay; and so God's holy angels bore our darling one away." ~ epitaph in Lullaby Land

One flower for Michael... or that is how it began. As in all things for Michael I become involved with they usually turn out to be so much more. This day was no exception. In fulfilling a promise to my dear friend, Bonnie, I made a visit for her to Michael at Holly Terrace. First stopping to purchase one flower as was her wish but then it was more cost efficient to buy more than one. So with a small bouquet of bright faced flowers and thinking of the kind gentleman from Forest Lawn asking that we always share flowers with the babies as it was the Forest Lawn tradition, I felt a need to also follow suite.

 So after leaving a single heartfelt flower from her for Michael at Holly Terrace I took the remaining flowers to the babies at Lullaby Land just as we had done for One Rose for Michael J. Jackson. I was recently saddened to read some comments posted and had not been able to shake them from my mind. People stating they're upset that Michael is placed at Holly Terrace, Glendale as it seemed to be such a very sad, awful place. So in my journey today... I just wanted to share for any of you that feel this way how very Michael Holly Terrace, Forest Lawn, Glendale really is. Well that is how it started out.

Like with all things in my daily life since Michael died I still see and feel Michael everywhere. Today was no different. The sights and feelings of Michael were simply everywhere. Michael taught the world about beauty and art as he lived beauty and art when he walked this earth, surrounding himself everywhere possible with treasures from the masters. At Forest Lawn too everywhere is beauty and art. Looking at this beauty today at every turn I thought of Michael... everywhere Michael! Beauty, children, art and Michael intertwined For All Time.... eternity.





"Did He need one more blossom of your size and hue - and
was that the reason the Master chose you?"

I recently wrote of the roses for the babies from One Rose for Michael J. Jackson. What an incredible journey that was and here I was today able to take my time in the sweetness at Lullaby Land once more. The focus today no longer on the roses allowed the scent of pine and lavender to drift up and fill my senses. Placing the sunflowers in the hands of the babies I spent more time reading and studying the tribute. Taking a closer look at the carved poem, castle and surrounding area. Here I saw for the first time lavender and baby violets much like what I have growing at home filling the smaller heart area in front of the castle tribute wall. The roses were gone now so the sunflowers brought a new sense of cheer. My heart broke as I wondered about families who placed their departed babies in this large heart cemetery. Taking the time to read some of the head stones I realized they were from very long ago, yet the epitaphs were so current and fitting for our sweet Michael now today. Again I glanced up the hill toward Holly Terrace which over looks Lullaby Land and sighed a heavy sigh thinking about the innocence of Michael in comparison to the innocent little babies here. He so loved babies and the world never understood the pure, innocent heart that filled him up with overflowing love and kindness for so many suffering children. I thought about how he never lost that innocence no matter how much ugliness was thrown at him. He always held on to what mattered to him the most... love for the children... helping and loving the children.



I began my leave and as I rounded a bend just behind the main mausoleum I caught sight of a large monument of a mother and baby which literally stopped me in my tracks. I had to stop the car and get out. It was here that God and Michael grabbed my hand and heart and took me on a journey... a tour of sorts... a tour of all things Michael within view of Holly Terrace... Michael's view. This is the first time I’d ever seen Forest Lawn Glendale from this perspective. Lifted up and moving now with the flow I just let God and Michael take me for a Michael sight seeing journey. Thinking of those sad posts I’d read I felt they were showing me I needed to share with MJ fans that Michael is indeed truly surrounded on ALL sides by beauty, children and art.

Here as I stood outside my car, just at the bottom of the back slope where MJ lays at rest behind his Ascension windows, sits a beautiful white marble statue of a mother with a baby in her lap. The love in the kiss and the playfulness of the child reminds me so much of Michael’s sweet gentleness and warm hugs with his own children.

Then as I turned to drive away my heart jumped when on the left right before me was a statue of an angel stooping to pick up one lone rose. Tears filled my eyes as I thought of Michael and One Rose for Michael J. Jackson. A vision of Michael in the ‘You Are Not Alone’ video sprang to mind. Here it seemed this statue dedicated to someone’s dearly departed also fit Michael so well... was meant also for this space in time.
Bottom back of the main mausoleum and back side of Holly Terrace.
MJ's Ascension windows in the distance next to the tree.
Michael simply loved beautiful white marble carved statues. He filled Neverland with many so when I turned the car and saw three more large carved Biblical marble statues just at the back, base of the main mausoleum within view of Michael’s windows the perfection and appropriateness of this resting place was once again affirmed.

Baby Land


I thought I was ready to leave when something inside said, “But you didn’t visit Baby Land.” So I turned back, traveling around the bend and up the hill to visit the babies. There I was very pleased to see indeed just as they had told me many of the flowers which are still nice are given to the babies before they are tossed out for good. Always assuring that the babies are thought of. It was wonderful to see this gesture, thinking how it would have also pleased Michael. I turned to look toward Holly Terrace and from this vantage point I couldn’t believe my eyes. There at the bottom of the slope along a road is a very familiar large old Oak... with all that I had just seen I immediately thought no doubt relative to the Giving Tree. Why not? Although it lay in direct view from Holly Terrace I’d never noticed it before. However today things were coming to me from a different perspective as I was on tour.

I took my time and walked for sometime around the base of this very old rambling oak  looking way up into the branches thinking of Michael climbing so briskly up the trunk of  the Giving Tree... wishing I was young again. How I’d love to scramble up into this great tree. The oak held me there for sometime it’s branches seemingly reaching forever, so mighty and large as it dwarfed me at it’s main trunk. I thought about all the times I’d longed to put my arms around the Giving Tree to thank him/her for all she gave to Michael. The smell here an earthy and refreshing scent as the oak leaves scrunched under my feet. I walked on down the road to view Holly Terrace again from this angle. Yes it overlooked the relative to the Giving Tree and the babies in both places.


The tour was not over yet. As I looked up the hill from the tree toward Holly Terrace I was shown at the foot of the Sunrise Slope is yet another beautifully carved marble statue of a mother with two little children and down the way on the back side of the Mausoleum where Elizabeth Taylor is entombed is a happy family carved in white marble. Here the man in the statue brought back memories of a painting that David Nordahl had done of Michael.


Feeling like I needed to just stop and breath for a while I drove down to the Oak tree turn around at the Little Chapel of Flowers. I sat gazing out the window thinking about how I had just come to Forest Lawn today to drop off one heartfelt flower for Michael for a good friend. Deep in thought I blinked as I saw several little orange butterflies fluttering about in the ivy field in front of my car. My mind immediately went to the butterfly release on June 25th and I wondered, “Oh! Did they stay close by?” but these were a much smaller variety. There were several though. Lovely orange and black butterflies and one black and yellow happily flitting from leaf to leaf in a meadow of ivy. All I could think of was, “Well how perfect is that?”



Deciding to move on I thought of the lily pond this time of year. The lily pads are just beginning to grow and I wondered if they were in bloom yet. So up the front hill I went to capture the statue of the mother and baby just over the knoll from MJ’s Ascension windows. Yes there were lilies, just a few, some peach and pink lily pad flowers blooming today. Soon the pond will be full of these lovely flowers.






Before abandoning my tour completely to head home I stopped to see the beautiful front fountains up close. I’ve never taken the time to look this closely as I usually have one purpose in mind when visiting Forest Lawn, to visit Michael at Holly Terrace only. Today though I smiled as I took a close up view of the little frogs spouting water out toward the tall crane fountain at center pond. Noticing too the rolling meadow of grass was pristine, cut in a patch work design leading the eye down the hill to the main fountain. I’ve never taken the time to look this closely and in so doing I was led toward the back of the pond for yet another joyful discovery of two little bronze statues. Yes Michael would enjoy these... two children gleefully holding ducks they had obviously plucked from the pond. Of course my mind immediately went to Neverland. What a perfect way to end today’s Michael journey and tour.

I thanked God for showing me all that is so Michael at Forest Lawn, Holly Terrace, Glendale. 

I’ve for sometime felt that having Michael back at Neverland would be so perfect; however today I swung back the other way. I know nothing. Every time I think I may have figured out life... I find out I know nothing. Only God knows and He continually shows me layers of Himself in all experiences.


After my guided tour today... I see so much of Michael here at Holly Terrace. Truly... really all I could ever hope for is that we could turn back time and there would be no need for any of these thoughts... I’d love to push them and reality aside... Michael would be with us... with his family... fulfilling all those genius plans that only Michael Jackson could ever conceive of... making his joyful God given, beautiful, noise unto the LORD, unto God and the universe. He is not... I accept that now... for me maybe... today was a tour... a journey of acceptance. Yes indeed, Michael is in a beautiful place. He is with God in heaven where there is no more suffering and he is also at Holly Terrace surrounded by children, beauty, peace, art... even a giant oak. So much of all that was Michael, for us... still is Michael... surrounds him here. It is us... those left behind that continue to heal. Today was a day of healing. 



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

UPDATE:
September 1, 2012






While delivering the flowers to the baby in memory of MJ I lost my keys.
Robyn thankfully found them; however while
we were searching for them, our friend Craig found this
grave marker in the heart at Lullaby Land.
"Our Tinkerbell"
This sweet angel took her heavenly place
around the same time that Disneyland's Peter Pan had made it's debut.
Michael at Holly Terrace overlooking this spot for all eternity.

On Michael's birthday Aug. 29, 2012 I visited Forest Lawn, Holly Terrace, to deliver flowers, cards and wishes of LOVE and respect to Michael from fans from the Michael Jackson Fans of Southern California Face Book page. I met my dear friends and we then took flowers to the babies at Lullabye Land and Babyland in Michael's memory. We felt this was a truly meaningful expression of LOVE for Michael that he would so approve of. Only days after Michael's birthday my beautiful friend Robyn Starkand stretched her heart wide open in this beautiful video applying George Michael's rendition of "They Won't Go Where I Go" which Stevie Wonder sang at Michael's memorial at Staple's Center. 
This video is THE most beautiful video she has created thus far! An ultimately sublime spiritual expression of the love, sorrow and grief which engulfs the still melancholy hearts MJ fans around the world. Thank you, Robyn, for sharing this stunning and hauntingly beautiful elucidation of LOVE of and for Michael Jackson. It reaches deep and touches the depths of the soul and heart, the artistic and spiritual place where Michael lived his life daily. God truly blessed this world with the gift of Michael Jackson. He will be forever missed.


~~~~~~~~~~~

A little history about the founder of Forest Lawn:

Dr. Hubert Eaton - Life Magazine photo
Yes the thought of spending a day at a cemetery may seem morbid at first thought but then Forest Lawn cemeteries are not morbid places of death. When my children were younger we would visit the different Forest Lawn cemeteries for amazing, home-school field trips. These are beautiful parks filled with art and beauty. Costumed actors portrayed Michael Angelo, Leonardo DiVinci and Abraham Lincoln presented incredible inspired lessons in art, painting, sculpture and history. I clearly remember the sound of children's laughter echoing across the rolling hills.

When I first heard that Michael was being buried in this beautiful place I immediately remembered the Michael Angelo field trip and thought of MJ's love of art and children feeling somehow it was so fitting for him to be so near the replicas of La Pieta, Night and Day, Twilight and Dawn statues and yes... the sound of children laughing.

Forest Lawn was founded in 1917 by Dr. Hubert Eaton. Dr. Eaton said he didn't want a religious stained glass window like all the others at Forest Lawn to honor him after he died so he commissioned a different type of painted/stained glass window which depicts children playing with their new presents at the foot of a Christmas tree on Christmas morning. This too is so reminiscent of Michael. Although Dr. Eaton is entombed in the main mausoleum this window is placed off the main hall inside Holly Terrace just before going up over the bridge to the main mausoleum.  The back side of this window can be seen from the street at the main mausoleum entrance. The colorless back side of this window is in complete contrast to the brilliant colors of the actual window front when the sun hits it. Knowing Michael's love of Christmas and of course the many joyful Christmases he spent with his own children it brings happiness to know that Michael is so near this beautiful Christmas window. 

Wikipedia excerpt:
Eaton was a firm believer in a joyous life after death. He was convinced that most cemeteries were "unsightly, depressing stoneyards" and pledged to create one that would reflect his optimistic, Christian beliefs, "as unlike other cemeteries as sunshine is unlike darkness." He envisioned Forest Lawn to be "a great park devoid of misshapen monuments and other signs of earthly death, but filled with towering trees, sweeping lawns, splashing fountains, beautiful statuary, and ... memorial architecture"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Lawn_Memorial_Park,_Glendale

Another of my stories about Michael's resting place:
A Place Without No Name
http://mjbliss.blogspot.com/2011/02/place-without-no-name.html

This story also includes much info and many pictures of Holly Terrace:
LOVE'S Invisible Work
http://mjbliss.blogspot.com/2011/04/loves-invisible-thread.html

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Roses, Roses, 10,477 Roses 2012

                                

"To give someone a piece of your heart, is worth more than all the wealth in the world.” ~ Michael Jackson

We marched in spirit from around the world, ‘MJ’s Soldiers of LOVE’, with long stemmed roses held high for our KING OF LOVE. A figurative marching of hearts from MJ’s Army of LOVE entered Forest Lawn on June 24, 2012 to take delivery of 10,477 thornless roses from around the world. Fans from around the globe blanketed Michael Jackson with a red rose sea of LOVE. It had been a long journey many months in the making. Through the well thought out plans of Robyn Starkand and her team in conjunction with Passion Growers. No stone had been unturned.

It had all begun the first year of Michael Jackson’s death anniversary as a simple loving gesture to show Michael how much we missed and still loved him. Then as it became plagued by the selfish, greedy actions of the originator we feared our loving yearly shower of red roses over Michael’s Holly Terrace would not happen. There were problems from the inception... the originator was from Sweden and rarely communicated with those who physically made the project happen. Inaccurate lists of purchases were being posted resulting in many fans asking for corrections, little if any explanations were being given about rose stats. We attributed this to a language barrier. It was all very frustrating. Then of course the fact that from Sweden this person was ordering the flowers for somewhere she’d never been and at the last minute only days before June 25th informed Robyn the roses had not even been ordered yet and asked for her help.

My dear friend, Robyn, is a can do type person who doesn’t take no for an answer. She went into high gear, jumped on the phone to find a provider of red roses. Sadly the obvious florist choice inside Forest Lawn was out of the question price wise for what Sofie had been advertising to the fans. God only knows where she had come up with her prices. A testament to her perseverance and true grit Robyn was blessed to find Passion Growers, which turned out to be an even better choice, securing the purchase making quick work of the problem. After much back and forth with Sofie the money was transferred to Passion Growers and 3000 roses were purchased and delivered all just in the nick of time. Robyn pulled a farce out of the abyss of defeat for both MJ and the MJ fans with only a few days notice. 



Then there was the fact that Forest Lawn was not Michael Jackson fan mourner friendly in the beginning but has since warmed up to us learning we are not all crazy, demanding and fanatical. The VP sat Robyn in his office and grilled her about why there was a big truck delivering roses. She smiled and endured the questions and very bad condescending attitude, succeeded in winning him over, making a friend of sorts, improving relations with MJ fans and Forest Lawn and ultimately securing the delivery and set up of 3000 roses... but not after being told several times... you can’t put them there, move them here over and over. Finally in place... the roses were a beautiful display of LOVE for MJ.

The next year went only a little bit smoother... all the same bumps in the road... struggling with non communication from Sweden, slow turn over of funds to the provider and certain difficult personalities at the cemetery. Then in the end MJ’s rose love grew to 4500 roses delivered to Holly Terrace for Michael. Once more at the last minute Robyn was called on to pull Sofie’s One Rose for Michael out of the ‘not happening’ toilet and with hard work made it a reality.



Then in 2011... Sofie showed her true colors as to why she had been so non communicative, as to why we could never get a straight answer out of her the entire first two years of the One Rose event. She had not long after One Rose come up with a most worthy fundraiser. Vaccines for needy children around the world via UNICEF. A perfectly legitimate meaningful cause all in Michael’s name. It sounded so wonderful for Michael until she disappeared, absconding with the fans heartfelt donations of over $10,000.  I personally was horrified and shocked as I had taken it upon myself as I rarely support fundraiser projects of any kind to write a blog about the UNICEF vaccines via One Rose and advertised it worldwide with the assistance of wonderful friends. I was devastated to learn Sofie had taken the fan’s money, even more disgusted and heart broken that the children would not receive the desperately needed vaccines. The authorities were notified. They are still today looking for and investigating Sofie Strandberg. I pray that justice will be served and she will pay for this disgusting act of greed and deceit.

Knowing my friend, Robyn, as I do there was an inkling that she could not let Michael go without his Red Roses on the third anniversary. We talked and I encouraged her. After all One Rose for Michael would not have even happened the first two years if it weren’t for Robyn jumping in at the last minute bringing it all to fruition. She was the deciding factor in Michael receiving his roses and if anyone could do it and do it well it was Robyn. Soon I discovered I was right. She gathered those who were already discussing the One Rose debacle, reporting Sofie and discussed a ‘New One Rose’ and how it could be handled more transparently, above board for the fans in Michael’s memory. Just as it should have been to start with. She organized her team for Face Book, the web, Tumblr, Twitter and Ustream and went to work to make it what she knew it could be for Michael. The day we were on the phone discussing it and she said the “New” One Rose for Michael J. Jackson would go live on her birthday, March 7th, I was ecstatic, elated we would have red roses for Michael at Holly Terrace again this year. I had complete faith in my friend from the very beginning even before she told me it would go live. I was just waiting for her to speak the words. 



“It is what it is” dear Robyn would say in her New York accent. All you can do is the foot work and then let it be... we talked about this often. Knowing her though I knew she was tirelessly working and striving to make the new ‘One Rose for Michael J. Jackson’ the best it could be. No stone had been unturned. Everything was revamped in this project to ensure total assurance and confidence for the fans in their rose buying. A new Face Book group page was started allowing fans to join in from around the globe. Sarrah, her admin on the page, created an incredibly beautiful new blog/website with a rotating globe showing every fan in the world’s location as they bought their roses. Michael’s genius music could be heard 24 hours a day on this site. Each fan who bought a rose received their own personalized badge they could post on their Face Book page or keep for their files. A beautiful cascade of messages of LOVE for Michael were posted on the website as well.

There was a new name for this 2012 event ‘One Rose for Michael J. Jackson’ only a small distinction for a huge change. We had talked about the possibility that fans would not be interested in One Rose this year after the malicious actions of Sofie in the original One Rose, fearing it may haunt One Rose and destroy any possibilities of a beautiful project of LOVE for Michael. It never ceases to amaze me how low and filthy some people can be especially masquerading as ‘loving MJ fans.’ The fans including both of us were disillusioned by Sofie’s hurtful, brazen, greedy behavior. Michael lived with this type of selfish manipulative behavior his entire career and it’s disdainful to see after all he suffered that it still plagues the MJ community today. There are dirty hands and evil spirited greedy people on Face Book and MJ blogs and websites everyday collecting money in Michael’s name and lining their pockets instead of delivering the goods. Even more baffling is how people turn over their hard earned money to someone’s personal account with no real proof of where their money is going or how it is used. 

I have always made it my personal rule that I will not donate to anything unless the money goes directly to the source and I receive a receipt. Never the less I was one of the fans who donated to Sofie for the children’s vaccines. I made an exception to my rule with Sofie and will not ever make that mistake again. The new One Rose was set up so all money went directly to the rose grower. No money ever touched the fan’s hands. It had to be that way.

In support of and belief in my friend and her efforts I wrote my ‘One Rose for Michael J. Jackson 2012’ story for my Michael’s Heart blog. It felt so good to put that story out there like the Phoenix rising from the ashes. Remembering my own frustration of the previous years I made it my main objective to inform all the fans everywhere I possibly could of the rose count on a regular basis. After all it was their money, their gift to Michael and they were entitled to know the current rose count at all times. The One Rose team and supporting fans held regular twitter and Rockin’ for Roses Ustream events with effervescent Melanie from N.Y. to get the word out there that this was a brand new revamped One Rose for MJJ. Robyn created her beautiful videos which enabled us to share the event along with the One Rose for MJJ tumblr and website/blog. All bases were covered. We became like a well oiled machine.


The new One Rose stance and motto was: ♥ One Voice, One Heart, One LOVE, We are One Rose for Michael J. Jackson ♥  I remember our long phone conversations discussing the first year there had been 3000 roses and the second 4500. At launch day we then theorized if we were to even get 1500 after Sofie’s low life actions that would be 1500 roses of PURE LOVE for Michael Jackson from true MJ fans. End of discussion. We let it go, gave it to God and continued our work. 


There were those who appallingly tried to destroy the event spreading unwarranted personal attacks, lies and slander about the new One Rose for Michael J. Jackson, Passion Growers and Robyn. It horrifies, disgusts and saddens me what some will do out of jealousy and greed. There are still those today masquerading as loving Michael Jackson fans who clearly do not know one iota of what he truly was about. They infiltrate the MJ community like a cancer arrogantly and insanely spreading their twisted lies causing turmoil and hurt all out of greed and to gain personal notoriety.
~~~~~~~~~~~~


Neysa, a beautiful MJ fan with a huge heart of LOVE, wrote on Face Book in the weeks prior to June 25th and expresses a vision for those of us who toiled and supported One Rose for Michael J. Jackson 2012. Those who know that real pure LOVE for MJJ. This beautiful vision is an excellent example of Michael’s true heart. Why each of us 'needed' to buy him One Red Rose.

Hi Ladies,

I just wanted to share a few words of support this afternoon.  This whole horrible experience has threatened to take away the beauty of what you've achieved.  I shared a very poignant image that I had in my mind's eye with Robyn yesterday.  That one is for her.  This one is for you as a group.  I wish I could draw or paint or something so I could  capture these images, but I can't.  So bear with me as I attempt to put into words the picture I can see.

It's night time at Forest Lawn.  The anniversary is coming to a close, and all the fans have long since gone back to their hotels, their homes, or wherever. As darkness and peaceful silence descends over the grounds, the door to Holly Terrace opens silently, and a familiar figure, not quite transparent, emerges. He pauses and looks around at all the beautiful mementos that have been left for him. What catches his eye the most are the dozens of buckets filled to overflowing with bright red roses.  Bending down, he picks one up and holds it.  He looks at it from every angle and takes in its beauty and its aroma.  The light that surrounds him like an aura illuminates one sparkly tear that has escaped his eye and is tracing its way down his cheek.  A smile forms on his lips and slowly spreads across his face.  He replaces the rose into its bucket and then puts his hands together.  Looking toward the sky, he whispers, "Thank you for bringing me out here, God.  Thank you for showing me this.  Please help the fans who put this together feel my love for them in an extra-special way.  They've blessed me beyond all measure."

He walks down among the mementos, pausing to read the cards, look at the posters, and touch the various trinkets that have been left.  All the while, he's enjoying the scent of the roses, which has permeated the night air.  This, he decides, is his new bliss.  He'd been given an opportunity to experience first-hand the love for him that his fans carry in their hearts, and he found that far from fading away, their love had instead increased!  He looks around and speaks in a whisper what he would have said if the OneRose4MJJ girls were all gathered in front of him.  "You knew, didn't you?"  He shakes his head and sighs a happy sigh.  "You knew how much this would mean to me.  You took all the love, the energy, the patience, the time, and the hope you have in your heart and you poured it into this project.  You weren't sure I'd ever know about it, though you wanted to believe that I'd see it somehow.  Well here I am.  And I want you to know it's absolutely beautiful.  YOU are absolutely beautiful.  God bless you, you've touched my heart deeply."  He paused, wishing he could then reach out and hug them.  "And one more thing.........I know what you've been through.  I can feel the pain that's still stinging in your hearts.  But ya know what?  You won.  You succeeded.  You were determined not to quit, and it paid off.  I'm proud of you."  And then he blew a kiss into the night air, brushed a happy tear from his face, and slowly made his way back to the door that led to his resting place.  But before he entered, he turned and waved one last time.

I really do believe Michael sees the flowers and mementos that are left for him at Forest Lawn.  I like to think of him coming out at night and looking at them all.  It always makes me smile.....

Be Blessed,

Neysa
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


From the very start I shared with Robyn almost daily as the news spread. I put my ability to reach out to the fans via my blog to work. Of course all those wonderful loving MJ websites I trust picked up the story and posted it. It went viral. I watched and followed on my blog stats as countries everywhere read the story. India, Australia, Africa, Canada, USA, South America, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland, all over Europe and Asia... every country and continent loves and misses Michael Jackson and all were joining in. People everywhere were given a chance to show Michael their LOVE with a single red rose. Each new goal we met catapulted us to a new level, setting a new higher goal... then that goal too would be surpassed. We were in awe of the LOVE. Encouraged by the out pouring of support. Taking to heart MJ’s affinity for the number 7 and with high hopes we reached even higher and set a new goal of 7,777... never dreaming we could meet it. Then astoundingly we blew right past it. There was no way to have ever anticipated or foreseen what would happen. Our humble expectations were soaring to new heights. God and Michael clearly had a different idea.

The saying goes... “We make plans while God laughs.” Michael always did everything BIG and he must have been up there hanging off a heavenly cloud dangling his loafered feet and just giggling away because nothing could stop this red rose tsunami of LOVE for MJJ... not hate... not slander... not ignorance.

LOVE took over for One Rose for Michael J. Jackson 2012. Just as it should be. Yes indeed Michael was looking down from heaven smiling... I could feel his golden smile... his sweet affirming touch... a blessing for a job well done.... the rose event closed with a  final count of 10,477 roses. The rose grower too was astounded and deeply touched by the outpouring of sweet love and beautiful comments from MJ fans from around the world. They had been told about MJ’s love of the number seven so had added 3 extra roses for us after the final count in order to ensure that there would be two sevens.

It was beyond our imagination! We could have never perceived this type of out pouring of LOVE. Yes the phoenix certainly did rise out of the ashes. One Rose for Michael J. Jackson went viral as a global movement, one voice heard around the world for Michael. Counting down One Rose at a time until the final count was 10,477 roses. Even the Jackson family and Michael’s friends commented on posts and tweets recording the final count:



Tweet from Jermaine Jackson:





Jermaine’s additional tweet: "You remind us time and time again about the global force of love from Michael's other family. Respect #MJFam"






Post from Michael Bearden, Michael’s TII music director:

I don't usually speak for MJ, and I won't now. But, I can say with full confidence that he would love this! m~

Posts from Jonathan Phillip Moffet, “Sugarfoot”, Michael’s longtime drummer and friend:

This is 'So Beautiful', Indeed........ And the 'MOST Beautiful', and 'Reddest' ONE of them All, . . . . . . . . is inside the building, . . . Asleep, . . . . and yet, . . Seeing, Knowing, and Feeling, . . . Your Love..... Thank you to All whose Rose, stand as "Soldiers Of Love", . . . . . to "THE Soldier Of Love", . . . Michael.....
Bless you All..._ Jonathan Moffett_



This is a Beautiful Effort Betty! Michael was one of the Biggest, Reddest, Radiant, Full Bloom Roses in the 'Bouquet of Mankind' in life during our time. He 'Stood Out', amongst the Multi Billions of us, . . . and Shown his Beauty throughout the Entire world. To Influence them/Us All, . . . in the Ways To Be, . . . The Ways To Care, . . . . The Ways To Show Indifference, . . . . The Ways To Share, . . . The Ways To Learn, . . . The Ways To Speak from the heart, . . . . The Ways To Know the difference-between love and hate, . . . . and 'Most Of ALL', . . . . . The 'Way' to Love, Unconditionally.......Yes, 'One Rose', for Michael, . . . . . but 'That' ONE ROSE, . . . . . 'IS' . . . . He......._
Love, . . . Jonathan_
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Robyn greets the delivery truck
Robyn opens the first box of roses off the truck
First bucket of roses set in place at Holly Terrace
Delivery day - June 24th

On some days at Holly Terrace a palpable presence can be felt... it surrounds you like a soft cashmere cloak... a physical discernible touch. This day was one of those days for me. This beautiful summer day offered up warm, bright, blue skies over Holly Terrace while we gathered for the rose delivery.

Special preserved red roses for the One Rose set up team
Gi, Me, Robyn, Nicky, Rachael
This is always a guessing game... you just have to be ready for the truck to arrive. Robyn had her One Rose delivery team in place. Our energy and emotions were running high and the feeling in the air was unmistakable and thick. We had all five just spent the previous day flying over Neverland and wandering the streets of the Santa Ynez Valley towns talking to those who personally knew and loved Michael. Now with those stories and the amazing heli flight over Neverland fresh in our hearts our LOVE for Michael was bubbling over. We all shared the same vision. All wanted this day to go perfectly but no one more so than Robyn. There was a deep sense of peace and satisfaction yet also a high anticipation knowing we must now unpack over 10,000 roses for the King of our Hearts. Yes this would be the nuts and bolts and physical labor needed to bring this event to fruition. Forest Lawn was ready for the delivery as we stood alert, MJ’s Soldiers of LOVE at the ready to receive the shipment of the world’s One Rose LOVE for MJ. Yes we were more than ready for the task.



The Passion Growers truck appeared, opened and lifted it’s heavy back door then flat after flat was rolled off. Robyn was given the honor of opening the first box, revealing the first brilliant red Freedom Roses peeking out the top of the box, her babies, and placing the first One Rose for Michael J. Jackson bucket on the Holly Terrace patio. The first roses of 10,477. They were simply strikingly brilliant under the bright blue California sky. Everyone was wide eyed with a huge smiles. My heart skipped several beats as pure joy and LOVE welled up inside, tears filling my eyes. We all wanted to cry but then turned and looked at all the flats waiting to be unpacked and instead eagerly started grabbing box after box after box revealing more and more and more brilliant Red Rose MJ LOVE. The boxes lined the side walk and street in front of Michael’s resting place. This day, these moments in time were simply the most amazing I’ve ever been privileged to take part in for Michael Jackson. I was so honored to be there huffing and puffing and sweating my patutti off. Over two hours of work to reach the last box of red rose LOVE.

Group hug and tears. Mission complete for Michael and his loving fans!!
Finally the last bucket of red roses was put in place and we stood back simply amazed. This is when I cried... standing on the terrace as I looked at my friend, Robyn and the team of angels next to me. We spontaneously gathered for a private group hug. We stood arm in arm, bonded together, forever friends. I swallowed deep sobs of gratitude and joy as we stood encircled together, crying, holding one another in the center of Holly Terrace patio. With each sob and tear a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. My joy and gratitude for my friend, Robyn, over flowing. We had done it! It was finished! Mission complete!

Just as promised red roses blanketed Michael at Holly Terrace. A virtual sea of Regal LOVE leading up to his resting place. I personally believe Michael is in heaven in his Forever Bliss, that bliss he searched so desperately for on this earth; however this day I know he was very present with us, watching and LOVING every second of this show of LOVE. I could feel him many times, a soft, tender feeling of sweet joy and LOVE lifting us as we worked. I felt Michael in our group hug giddy with joy. Yes he was there giggling. 

We all collapsed across the street to replenish and recoup then bounced back unable to resist the roses while taking many pictures. Words are lacking to describe the floating sensation as we filled our senses with Michael’s rose love. Sitting right down amongst the roses, feeling the silkiness of their petals against our cheeks, lightly touching the soft velvety petals, smelling the sweet invigorating fragrance, feeling the coolness of the buckets of fresh, spring, rose water, our hearts and spirits swimming in an ocean of free flowing tangible MJ LOVE.
Robyn - Victory! Gi backing her up!
Roses so soft and sweet.
Sitting in the midst of so much regal MJ LOVE

Nicky drinking in the beauty of the roses close up and personal
Resting under the pine tree

Watering... one last fill.
Robyn and me. We are glowing!

The roses, “My babies” as Robyn referred to them, had been delivered in thick cardboard boxes, each bucket filled with special temperature vitamin water to help them last for many days. However with a few slight spills we wanted to assure they were all healthy and ‘totally nourished.’ Having obtained a hose from Forest Lawn we each went about filling every bucket to the brim ensuring they would have fresh water over night and into the next day for the third anniversary day.
Michael's Sweet Kiss and Thank You!
BE God’s Glow! 

 Our job complete we stayed all day at Forest Lawn to drink in the JOY of MJ’s Roses. As we gathered across the street from Holly Terrace under the shade of the pine tree where we could take in the end result of our hard work beautiful, Rachael, from the UK was checking her pictures. She was downcast and disappointed but we were laughing as she realized someone’s bum was in one pic and again when she realized that another over zealous, loving fan jumped into the middle of another team group pic as we yelled, “Michael!” She was hoping to just get a pic of the Rose Delivery Team. Then she screamed... “Betty LOOK!! OMG!! LOOK what I have!!” She thrust her camera before my eyes. Focusing I stood astounded, no words came as I gazed at the picture of not just the One Rose Delivery team but of Michael showing his bright white glowing light right in the middle us. All I could say is, “He is here! Yes he glows! He gave us his blessing!” I remember the moment. It felt like a soft sweet kiss. We were all giving the peace sign in honor of Michael, expressing our hearts in unison yelling out loudly, “We LOVE you Michael!!” as the picture was snapped. At that very moment Michael’s bright, white light of LOVE with extending rays of white light over each one of us gave us his eternal blessing. A BIG thank you! A confirmation and affirmation substantiating our work was seen and acknowledged by the one whose approval was of the utmost importance. The ONLY one who really mattered for us. Our mission of LOVE blessed by none other than Michael himself! It took my breath away. We were floating the rest of the day. In our greatest or wildest imaginings we could never have planned for or worked for this end result. Never again could it ever be duplicated. Only Michael and God could do this.

Cami - CLV Photography

Soon beautiful Cami arrived to take her dazzling, brilliant professional CLV photos. Many more MJ fans arrived and gazed upon the glory of the sea of MJ LOVE. We shared the glowing picture with several. They were all astounded, also blessed. No one doubted Michael’s presence and blessing. We felt both God’s and MJ’s LOVE so heavy over Forest Lawn this day and into the evening.




Pic credit to Silvia's son, Davide Boscarino.
Very talented young, 9 year old, photographer
June 25th was a day of remembrance, meeting many beautiful MJ fans from around the world. Many more beautiful flower arrangements were added with many also taken inside. Heartfelt cards, posters, gifts and mementos were lain with LOVE all up and down the grassy area in front of the mausoleum for Michael from all over the world. There was the most glorious butterfly release of 200 Monarch butterflies which flew into the sky above the roses. This amazing show of LOVE is how I wish it could be everyday for our King of LOVE. He deserves nothing less. On the third anniversary day as MJ fans gathered I was very happy and comforted to once again spend time with so many very valued dear friends. Sweet trusted friends I know are true with huge hearts of LOVE for MJ. Also meeting new friends along the way sharing in their day as they brought their hearts of love and respect for MJ.

Much love was shown for Michael this day; however for me the most giant show of respect and honor was shown from the real stars of the day which Michael himself blessed, the brilliant red Freedom roses for Michael. Stalwart, red soldiers lining the walk way, each fan’s pure love and respect arms outstretched for their King. Enabling each MJ fan who participated world wide to not only be present in spirit but to leave a bit of their heart before their King. These brilliant roses lit up the entire area out shining everyone making a HUGE statement of LOVE to the entire world that Michael Jackson is STILL in our hearts, STILL very much LOVED and will be For All Time. A huge statement that LOVE always WINS!

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My June 24th ecstatic Face Book post to Jonathan Moffet:
Just look!!! The LIGHT of Michael glowing on the One Rose for Michael J. Jackson set up team!! ♥♥♥ He gave us his blessing... it felt like a sweet kiss... so much LOVE over Forest Lawn today as the 10,477 roses were laid as a blanket of LOVE over Holly Terrace for Michael!! ♥♥♥

Jonathan’s response: 

So Wonderful Betty, this effort to Soldier "Roses of the Blood Of The Heart Of Love", . . . to stand watch, and flow, . . in honor of "THE Soldier Of Love", . . . . Michael. Bless You, and All who made this happen, to show respect, . . and Love... Much Love to You All...
_ Jonathan Moffett



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Holly Terrace over looking Lullaby Land
Lullaby Land castle tribute to the babies
Red roses in the baby's sculpted hands
Baby Land bronze baby statue
MJ Rose LOVE shared - pay it forward

On June 26th as promised on the One Rose Face Book page we delivered Michael’s LOVE roses to the needy.

Lullaby Land and Baby Land: 

Our first place of delivery was right there near Michael as Forest Lawn was pleased to authorize One Rose for Michael J. Jackson’s sharing Michael’s roses with the babies. Many babies graves no longer have visitors or receive flowers as the parents have passed on. In fact Forest Lawn has asked that anytime anyone gives flowers to Michael to please also remember to give flowers to the babies. Any Forest Lawn employee can help show you the way to find these two beautiful spots. 



Michael’s Holly Terrace doors over look “Lullaby Land” which lays across the street and down the rolling green, grassy knoll at “Sunrise Slope.” A giant heart sidewalk border out lines this baby burial ground. Each visit to Holly Terrace I have viewed this place from the distance of Holly Terrace balcony. It always evoked such feelings of sadness and loss for the babies and their parents. I was not prepared for the sweet moments experienced on this day during rose delivery. Michael Kiss or MK as we all know him and he prefers to be called, a wonderful Michael Jackson impersonator and good friend, had asked if we could please distribute a few red roses to the babies for MJ. At his suggestion we were more than happy to fulfill this request in Michael’s memory. We felt that Michael would LOVE to see his red roses here more than anywhere else at Forest Lawn. 

The Forest Lawn trucks came and picked up several buckets of roses delivering them to ‘Lullaby Land’ and ‘Baby Land.’  The rose team caravaned by car to the heart burial grounds finding the most enchanting of places. Upon arrival to this wistful spot we walked the surrounding heart shaped side walk to the top of the lullaby hill. Just under the pine trees a smaller heart garden lay. Here were three full buckets of roses from Holly Terrace for the babies. This was my first time visiting the babies. I was spellbound. The smell of pine and roses greeted my senses and before me standing high under the pine trees was an enchanting, magical stone carved castle tribute so reminiscent of Neverland and Michael. I just stood there enraptured in awe at how absolutely perfect this place was to receive the charity roses from Michael Jackson. I read the carved poem to the babies completely absorbed in the white marble sculpture wall adorned with baby cherubs. I could not pull myself away. One by one we each took turns inserting single red roses into each of the carved cherub’s outstretched hands. I feel in my heart of hearts Michael would have so lovingly approved of this tribute and while I stood there turned to gaze up the hill to over looking Holly Terrace and envisioned Michael visiting, smiling, glowing, running to play with the babies.

Just a short distance down the hill and around a bend also lay ‘Baby Land’ where more buckets of roses were placed for the babies. Here Robyn and Nicky meticulously moved from row to row in search of the headstone of a baby who by chance Robyn was told about. Miraculously this baby’s name was found and one red rose was lain on his grave. This small gesture of kindness completed a life long cycle of mourning for this baby’s brother. Another miracle of the week fulfilled. After inserting two long stemmed roses into the smiling baby’s hands we all stood looking at the bronze baby statue. Michael’s presence held us there. Clearly everything was connected on this journey of giving.
MJ center stage. Orb above Robyn and Rachael.
Nicky, me, Gi, Robyn, Rachael
Argisht, huge MJ fan. Orb above Argisht.
Sparrs Senior Center front desk
Sparrs Senior Center:
The next stop was to take buckets of roses to the Senior Center. Originally I had planned to arrange the delivery to a Senior Center I had worked in years before near my home. Then at the last minute decided instead to reach out to find a Senior center in Glendale. Randomly calling Sparrs Senior Center they were thrilled to hear about and welcomed a Michael Jackson rose delivery. So leaving the babies behind we moved on in caravan to Sparrs in Glendale. Upon arrival we were greeted with smiles and directed by Angela to the room where we were to drop the flowers. To our amazement it was large room where the seniors gather each day for lunch and so fittingly held a stage. Yes a stage! A beautiful thick black velvet curtain lined the backdrop of a beautifully well maintained raised wood stage. We were asked to place the roses center stage. Once again Michael Jackson was fittingly center stage.


Yes indeed MJ was with us all the way. Argisht, an employee at Sparrs had heard that there were flowers from Michael’s anniversary at Forest Lawn being delivered and he had to come out to see. He had been disappointed he couldn’t visit Forest Lawn the day before and had heard about the roses on the news so he was absolutely surprised and thrilled to know the roses had come to Sparrs. Tears filled his eyes and he was very moved when he entered the room and saw the buckets on the stage marked One Rose for Michael J. Jackson. He is a huge MJ fan and like most fans he wanted to keep talking about MJ inviting us to pose for pictures and enthusiastically asking what our favorite MJ songs were. His he revealed was Dirty Diana.

Two other ladies from Sparrs chatted with us. They were all thrilled to receive roses from One Rose for MJJ for the Seniors. They were so appreciative and said the seniors were going to be so excited and happy to see them when they came in for lunch the next day. They loved hearing the story about the 10,477 roses for MJJ and said they would make sure to tell all the seniors about MJJ's roses from the fans.

Then to absolutely cement that we were in the right place sharing MJ’s rose love one of the ladies excused herself to attend to an ongoing class... but not before revealing that Sparrs was a not only a senior center but perfectly fit for our donation because it was a community performing arts center which also held children’s summer classes. It was then I realized looking out the windows from the lunch room to the patio outside a group of about 20 children attending a summer class.

Yes indeed MJ was with us... for we could not have planned this delivery of roses to a more perfect place.

Touching and fitting display of MJJ's roses at the
Vetran's woman's homeless shelter


So fitting... 'Don't Stop Believing'

Veteran’s Woman's Homeless Shelter - West Los Angeles:

Buckets of roses were also shared with a local Veteran’s homeless shelter bringing smiles to the faces of these lovely women. Each lady was given roses from the buckets placed into vases with fresh water so they could enjoy them in the privacy of their rooms. Still there were plenty of roses to share in common areas for everyone to enjoy including staff. God bless these veterans, these strong ladies, for fighting for their country. Roses are the very least we can do to show them our thanks and appreciation. What a privilege One Rose for MJJ received while helping to put a smile on their faces. I know Michael smiled down from heaven on this wonderful gesture of giving and love as he waved his American flag of approval from heaven’s gate.

7 Red roses from MJJ's One Rose LOVE
lain at the foot of the angel for Elizabeth Taylor

Roses for Michael’s friends:

Seven roses were taken to Walt Disney who Michael highly admired and possibly had visited at Forest Lawn. They were laid in his burial garden. It was felt Michael would very much approve of this gesture of respect and LOVE.

Seven red roses were also lovingly laid at the foot of the angel statue for Elizabeth Taylor in the main Glendale mausoleum as we shared Michael’s regal, red, rose abundance of LOVE. Michael always shared with his good friend. One more time he was able to share his LOVE through One Rose for MJJ with his good friend Elizabeth.

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Additionally to donate in honor of Michael’s birthday or anytime please click on the following links. 
If you would like donate to charity in Michael Jackson's name and memory with the confidence that your money is going directly to the source. You may now donate directly to three different charities via One Rose for Michael J. Jackson Face Book Page:

UNICEF: please click on this link which takes you to a page set up Michael's memory at UNICEF via One Rose for Michael J. Jackson:
http://inside.unicefusa.org/site/TR?px=3927239&fr_id=1050&pg=personal

American Vitaligo Research Foundation (AVRF):
http://onerose4mjj.blogspot.com/2012/07/giving-childhood-of-love-american.html

To donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Research in Michael’s memory and name please go to this link:

http://onerose4mjj.blogspot.com/2012/07/giving-childhood-of-love-st-jude.html