I have always loved Michael Jackson. His music meant the world to me, and I was saddened to hear about his passing.
As a battered wife living overseas, I was miserable. It was Michael Jackson’s music that helped me survive that awful time. I danced wildly and with abandon to his music every day, resulting in a weight loss of 80 pounds. I used to think, “I wonder if that little kid from Gary, Indiana, knows that there is a terribly unhappy military housewife living far from home and family who is depending on him to get her through yet another day.” If we had had the Internet back in the late 70s, I would have found a way to send him a message to let him know.
It’s ironic how he always said that his fans helped him get through the difficult times in his life. When news of his death reached me, I was heartbroken. When I tried to explain my adoration of Michael Jackson to my kids and grandkids, they looked at me like I was crazy. They never knew the adorable little Michael of The Jackson Five; they didn’t grow up with his amazing roster of hit after hit after hit. They never danced to Thriller or Billie Jean, and they never heard the heartbreaking song he sang to a rat named Ben. Their idea of Michael Jackson was the “Wacko Jacko” we saw in the papers.
But I didn’t care-I still loved him and missed him, and I devoured every piece of literature about Michael I could get my hands on. I watched his funeral and cried the entire time. I felt like I had lost a beloved family member because indeed, he was about my age, and we had grown up together. Not only that, I was also happy that he had recently taken steps that showed that he was indeed a compassionate person who did do the right thing when confronted with the facts.
So it was with deep sadness that I learned that PETA had to step in when he abandoned the animals at Neverland. This was devastating news to me, and I found it hard to believe, given the millions of dollars he has spent on charities.
But it was true-he turned his back on those animals, and their destiny was to be farmed out to the highest bidder, not the best home. PETA wanted the animals to go to a sanctuary, but for reasons of his own, MJ never took the organization up on its offer to help. One can only surmise that he was not in the best state of mind.
I was very sorry to learn of the callousness with which he left others to dispose of his animals. It’s a tough pill to swallow when your idol falls so hard. How can someone who loves animals so much not make plans to make sure his companions would be taken care of? This got me thinking about how even people who profess their love for animals can sometimes not think deeply enough about what that really means. Here is someone who had all the resources in the world and seemingly truly cared for animals who unfortunately ended up abandoning those he claimed he loved.
Make your time with your friends and family—including your animal companions—even more meaningful.