I hadn’t thought much about the relevance of today until I hopped on my computer to do my routine social media check. From there, it didn’t take more than 2 clicks for me to be reminded why this day is so special. And within 2 seconds, I started to feel the weight of my heart increase exponentially.
Anybody that knows me will tell you I’m not a birthday enthusiast. Hell, Facebook is the difference between me being a good friend, brother, uncle, cousin, nephew and a forgetful bastard — though a bastard I am not. Normally, it (birthday) doesn’t matter if it’s a celebrity or family member, alive or deceased. But today is different. I’m acknowledging something that I’ve tried not to think about for so long because of the pain that accompanies the joy of reminiscing. Better yet, I’m acknowledging someone that I think the world needs more of.
Few people have impacted me the way MJ has. It makes sense. He was ever-present in my life. And as I grew up, I saw the way he put smiles on faces with his generosity. I listened to the words that still loop in my head until this day. I felt the love that he had for his family even when things may have been controversial or slightly dysfunctional. And as I’m sitting here writing this post, I’m learning new lessons from his old words. Much of what he said has become my reality. The lessons I’ve ignored have led me to tumultuous times. The habits that he said to stay away from have — at moments — become destructive vices. He told me what I would be if I wanted to become it, and I’m slowly starting to become exactly that. He believed in me before my first pencil ever touched paper.
The a capella version of his tracks are more clear today than they were 20 years ago. Honestly, they’re more clear than they were 3 years ago when he passed 2 days before his birthday and my return trip to upstate NY.
But I’m forever thankful, dad. While everyone else is celebrating the birthday of Michael Jackson, I thought it’d be fair to make folks aware of the Real Mr. Jackson that created and molded me into the person you’re taking the time to read today. Happy Birthday Pops. I miss you.