The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


The Man in the Mirror

First there was shock, then came the thought, "Who will take care of his children?"

That was what went through my head when I heard that Michael Jackson had died. 

I immediately thought of the woman who bore his first two children and hoped it would not be her. She was paid to be a surrogate, gave up her rights and from what I've read about her would rather raise horses than those kids.

According to several news reports she said something that she certainly did not have to share. Not now during such a painful time for his children. She said that Michael was not their biological parent. 

He was their father. They knew him as Dad. Fortunately, the children are with his mother and his family. Hopefully their nanny, who has helped raise them for most of their lives, will continue in that role.

There is something else about the death of Michael Jackson that has bothered me. My own guilt and judgement about him in life and the almost saintly quality I've given him now that he is gone. 

Death does that. Bad memories often give away to good, and they are what remain.

His skin was widely believed to be bleached. Now journalists are saying he really did have vitiligo, which splotched his skin and turned it pale. He also suffered from lupus, a harsh anti-immune disease. Perhaps that is why he wore surgical masks and allegedly took a number of drugs. That and years of strenuous performing left him in pain.

One thing I never believed was the molestation charges. The dentist who said Jackson abused his son, actually used a truth serum on his own child during a root canal. Can you imagine? Why did Jackson pay up? He said it just wasn't worth it. Haven't we all felt like that about one thing or another? OK, maybe not to the out-of-tune scale of $25 million. But understandable. 

And then like a modern Jean Valjean in Les Miserable there was the district attorney who was going to bring Michael down regardless of the facts. The infamous molestation trial. Michael in his pajamas. So many, including myself, thought he was faking it. But I have spoken to people who have been on trial or have had family members who have been and all said they were on medication for much of their ordeals. So, apparently, quite understandably now, was Michael. A weak case. One that should never have been brought, Michael won, but he lost so very much. The financial and emotional strain cost him his career, his credibility and he became the equivalent of a cartoon character. A freak. Someone not of this world. 

He was none of those things. He was a devoted father. A loving son. A caring brother. A man who, literally, thrilled millions and helped create the music video genre of MTV.

Michael Jackson is an object lesson in glass houses and to look at our own reflections before casting stones. Only then might we put down those rocks, and cast aside our harsh words and too easy judgements.

Michael Jackson is now in the same category as Elvis. His father said he would be bigger in death than he was in life. He left a legacy far larger than that. He had three children, just twelve, eleven and seven. Far too young to be orphaned. They are what is most important about Michael Jackson. He was their parent. He was their father. He was his children's dad. 

By Dawn Yun

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