The Post Game Show

Friday, July 10, 2009

Goodbyes Tug At The Heartstrings....

Michael Joseph Jackson knew how to put on a show in life and in death. Of course, his memorial service was held Tuesday in Los Angeles and in between varied work-related tasks, my eyes were glued to the screen as people from all walks of life, all levels of fame, all races/ethnicity, gender, whatever came to say goodbye to the King of Pop.

There were great speeches, like Al Sharpton's "Thank ya Michael," which included the realest of the real statements - "I want to say to his three kids, wasn't nothin strange about your daddy - It was strange what he had to deal with." And there was comedy, as basketball great/black business genius Magic Johnson shared a story about meeting with Mike to be in the "Remember The Time" video and while Magic tried to accomodate the host and order grilled chicken from the chef, the chef bought MJ a bucket of KFC.

There were performances of course, my favorite was John Mayer's phenomenal job playing Human Nature on guitar. Many people felt Usher's performance, including touching Mike's casket, was a bit overdone, but I'll give Usher the benefit of the doubt as he claims Michael as a HUGE influence on his life and career.

However, the most touching and poignant moment came at the service's conclusion when Michael's 11 year-old daughter, Paris Katherine, fought off incredible grief to step to the mic. As soon as I saw Janet let Paris step in front of her to get to the mic, my eyes started stinging and I said to myself "oh my God, the baby's going to speak..."

Three years ago tomorrow marks the day we buried my grandmother, the family patriarch, the cussword queen, the one who taught us all how to cook, the one who did her best to help raise her youngest daughter's two rambunctious kids as she went out into the world of social work to make a living for us. I remember when Grandma passed, July 4th and the day was just incredibly hollow. I just remember that feeling of loss, and even though she and I were close, I literally wanted nothing to do with the funeral.

In fact, my mom and a few cousins had a shouting match with me because I was so against being a pallbearer. I didn't even want my name mentioned as a devoted grandchild, because even though I was, I knew how my family tended to act, and in the wake of losing her, I didn't want to go to jail for curbstomping somebody. I eventually conceded to being a pallbearer, but we all went in the obit, unnamed, as special grandchildren. However, I had to say my goodbyes privately. I regret not asking to at least speak for a few minutes at her service now because even though she's still watching over me, and visits me in my dreams, I never got to tell the immediate world how much she meant to me.

...Paris got her opportunity, and as hurt and sad and fidgety as she was, she made the most of that opportunity. She let the world know that her daddy was the best daddy anyone could ever imagine and that she loved him so much. Lost in all of the drama of Mike's later years, people forgot that he did indeed raise three (at least on the surface) normal, well-adjusted everyday children. By the time she flung her little grief-stricken self into Auntie Janet's waiting arms, I was a teary-eyed mess.

Whether they are Michael Jackson's biological children is not up for debate, nor is the fact of who rallied around those kids. Those children, however they came to be, are card-carrying members of the Jackson family, and that's where they belong - with Mike's eight brothers and sisters and their loving grandmother (I refuse to even give Joe Jackson the time of day in this blog), not with Debbie Rowe, who only wants custody after Mike cut her simple self out of his will.

So with that said, it was a fitting send-off to a man who redefined music and entertainment, but did so with a broken, childhood-deprived heart. Wherever Mike's spirit is now, I hope he realizes how many lives he touched, how many people loved him, and how his wish to make the world a better place is coming true slowly but surely. Berry Gordy said it best, the King of Pop is no longer good enough. RIP to the Greatest Entertainer Who Ever Lived.


  • At 10:42 PM, Blogger kaligyrl99 said…

    Wow!! very well said...

  • At 2:48 AM, Blogger Da Dawg said…

    It's too bad that Joe and Jermaine have turned that day into shit by looking for the Cash grab (via burial at Neverland Ranch)

  • At 9:00 PM, Blogger Vdizzle said…

    Well said Chris.

    Despite how hard he tried to keep his kids out of the public eye, I'm sure they heard the things said about their father.
    I think that little girl really wanted people to know a human side of her father.

  • At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Reginald said…

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