Shock. Disbelief. Astonishment.
Last night after supper, as my husband and I walked out the front door to take a walk, our youngest daughter popped her head out the door and called to us down the driveway. "Did you know Michael Jackson is dead?"
I thought she had gotten it wrong.
It was one of those moments that will be forever etched into my memory - her face at our front door, telling me the shocking news. Much like I remember the way I found out Elvis died, the way I found out the Challenger exploded, and the way I found out Princess Diana died. These, and other shocking moments are like terrible milestones burned into our psyches and they become part of who we are and our life histories.
I'm sitting here this morning watching a tribute to Michael Jackson on TV, and the memories are flooding in with the music.
I was in the 7th grade when Rock with You and Don't Stop til You Get Enough were popular. School dances, listening to the radio, first crush, first kiss - Michael Jackson's Off the Wall album permeated all those things for me.
I was in the 10th grade when the Thriller album came out. Billie Jean and Beat It were in the background (or rather, the foreground) when I learned to drive, went on my first date, and made the cheerleading squad.
The Bad album came out the year my son was born.
Last year, my daughter and a bunch of her friends learned the Thriller dance and performed it as a group at their spring formal.
Suffice it to say, the music of Michael Jackson has always been part of my life. Most people in America - and the world at large - have much the same story. It is a sad day across the world.
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