I was born 10 years before Michael so when he hit the scene big-time I was 20 and he was 10. That’s a big age difference at that time of life. I remember hearing some of the Jackson 5 music but it sounded teeny bop to me (sorry Michael, lol). I was into the English invasion of music like the Kinks, the Yardbirds, the Birds, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Who, the Small Faces, Jeff Beck with Rod Stewart before the Yardbirds plus many more. I was also at the University engaged in studies and demonstrating against the Viet Nam war. For those of you who were born in Michael’s era or later you didn’t have to live with the ghastly idea that your boyfriends, brothers, cousins, friends were being forced to go to a small Asian country and kill or be killed. My generation were the first to see through the business of war yet they were forced to go anyway or flee to another country which some did. Others came home permanently scarred for life or in body bags. It was a terrible time. So I remember hearing Michael and his brothers and Stevie Wonder too but my mind was on my university studies and the demands that war was creating.
Later, in the 70s I remember hearing something of Michael’s from the Off the Wall album. Since I enjoyed jazz in addition to pop and rock I think I heard Lady in My Life and instantly fell in love with it. I bought the album and got my first look at Michael on it’s cover. My first thoughts were “Who is this adorable boy????” He was the cutest thing and I was immediately smitten big time. Not to mention bowled over by the maturity and depth of that album. Next I bought his Thriller album and thrilled to that. Sometime around this time I did manage to drive 150 miles north to Vancouver, Canada and catch him and his brothers in the Victory Tour. Of course, I only had eyes for Michael . . . Afterwards my life took over again, establishing my career during the late 70s, 80s and 90s. Michael faded to the background. I don’t remember hearing anything about the 90s problem with the Chandlers but I did know about the 2005 trial. Like Charlotte said, how could you not? But I found the claims so outrageous that I literally turned off the garbage. I couldn’t listen to that sh*t. I do remember breathing a huge sigh of relief tho’ that he’d been found not guilty on all counts. Then he faded from my mind once again.
On 6/25/2009 I remember exactly where I was. I was standing in our RV making breakfast with the TV on. I had heard a little earlier that day that Farrah Fawcett’s passing was imminent. I was sending her prayers for a passing that was filled with ease. So that’s why I kept the TV on. I was waiting for the announcement for when Farrah’s time had come.
Then I heard the news of Michael being rushed to the hospital. I immediately put that info out of my mind. Interesting how quickly we’ll find a way to deny what’s happening. Later I thought it would probably end up being nothing. I pretty much assumed that the next news would be that his condition was ‘under control’, he was stabilized, etc. then I could relax and wait to find out why he’d been rushed to the hospital. But that’s not the way it turned out .
When I heard he’d passed away I was just stunned. Again, I put it totally out of my mind. I was in such shock that I couldn’t allow the reality into my mind. I just looked up the definition of shock and this is what it said: Something that jars the mind or emotions as if with a violent unexpected blow. I came later to realize I’d felt shock because for the days from 06/29 to 07/07 I just went through the motions and pretty much kept Michael’s passing out of my mind.
Then I decided to watch the Memorial Service. I HAD to watch. I had to face it. I would stop being “busy” and tend to this man, by being present and engaged with the service to pay tribute and honor him and his contribution. That’s when this protective cocoon I’d made for myself burst like a dam and the tears started to roll and wouldn’t quit. I’d awaken in the night as if in a nightmare, my cheeks streaked with tears. Next I’d creep into the bathroom and sob uncontrollably into a towel. I had to be quiet because I didn’t want my husband to wake up. How could I explain my devastation for a man I didn’t know and whose music I hadn’t listened to in probably at least two decades? But it didn’t matter. I couldn’t stop crying and weeping. Never had I experienced a broken heart like this one. I was inconsolable.
All that summer my husband pretty much got into fishing, his favorite activity and gladly I was left alone in the RV. It was during this time that I discovered Youtube. I made myself a channel and I gorged on Michael’s music. I could hardly believe it but I began writing down the songs that I loved and just had to have and in no time I had written down over a 100 songs! I was amazed at how I seemed to like at least 99.9% of every single song he sang. WOW. Usually, in the past I’d have to buy an album to get one or two songs off it that I loved and the rest were just mediocre. Now the reverse happened. I absolutely loved and craved every single song he sang. I couldn’t get enough of him.
I remember dreaming of him at night and feeling like he was the Love of my Life. I’d fallen so irretrievably, deeply and passionately in love with this man and I was absolutely convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that he loved me as completely as I loved him. I lived on the sweet, sweet nectar of his love for months and months feeling like I was so special. I felt like I'd fallen in love and the whole world was new and sparkly and bright. I felt like I'd fallen in love for the very first time and again I was totally confused and confounded at what had happened to me. What had happened to me? How could something like this even be possible? I couldn’t explain it to a single living soul and when I tried all I did was break down into sobs again.
I remember losing my appetite and I started losing weight. I hadn’t lost my appetite to an emotional situation for probably 30 years. What in the world was happening to me? And it was so difficult to keep myself composed around my husband and engage with our friends at the RV park. I didn’t want to be around anyone but Michael. I had no desire to meet new people and make “happy face”. I got some of the memorial magazines that came out during that summer and I would go to the sand dunes, me and JJ the dog, and I’d just sit there, read some of the magazines and mostly cry and sob my heart out. I took to walking along on the beach shouting “Michaellllllll, I love Youuuuuuu” over and over again.
I was so broken open. I felt like such a mess. I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown or something. Never had I suffered a grief like this. Not even when my parents died. It was during this time when I was spending mostly all my free time on youtube falling head over heels in love with Michael that I heard someone mention the MJJ community on Amazon.com. So I decided to go check it out. That was easy enough because by now I had a shopping cart filled up with Michael items that I had to have and so I found Why Am I Still Crying Over Michael Jackson forum sometime in September, 2009.
That began a profound saga of sharing my grief, finding information to questions, treasuring the friendship of all these other people, mostly women, who were feeling exactly like I was. It was during this time of deep bonding with Michael’s other ladies that we coalesced around the idea that we’d been struck by a Lightening Bolt of such divine love energy that we’d all been permanently altered by it. I remember thinking to myself how could I describe in metaphor what it felt like had happened and I was thinking in terms of being struck by Cupid’s Bow because truly I’d never felt such divine love like that . . . so I did a little research into that story and . . . it didn’t quite fit. That’s when Lightening Bolt struck my mind. I came up with that term, shared it on the forum and from there everyone just took ownership of it. It was something we could all absolutely relate to because that’s what happened. We were struck by Michael Lightening Bolt of Divine Love. It’s almost 2 years now since that bolt struck me and I’m still on Michael’s Path more than ever. In fact, he feels very close to me, like he has some gift, something he wants to share with me and so I’m following him, following his lead, embracing this path that is leading me Home and to Him. It’s like a Journey now. A journey with Michael. I haven’t got a clue what’s around the bend but like he said “It’s a Great Adventure” and my God, how true that is♥