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.
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 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.
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.
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.
September 1, 2012
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.
A little history about the founder of Forest Lawn:
|Dr. Hubert Eaton - Life Magazine photo|
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.
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"
Another of my stories about Michael's resting place:
A Place Without No Name
This story also includes much info and many pictures of Holly Terrace:
LOVE'S Invisible Work