Category Archives: RIP

One Year Ago Today

Still hard to believe

One year ago today, at around four in the afternoon, I was riding on a shuttle bus at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. I called home to inform my loved ones that I was on my way home after a daylong business trip.  Right before the call ended, I was asked, “Did you hear that Michael Jackson died?”

“Michael Jackson who?”  I asked.  Certainly not the King of Pop, I was thinking.  Michael Jackson had existed my entire life, either as a member of the Jackson Five, the Jacksons or a phenomenal solo artist.  He was embarking on a series of 50 concert dates at London’s The O2 arena. It had to be a cruel hoax or he was mistaken for another individual with the same name.

But, of course, it was the Michael Jackson.  It was the man whose legendary performance on Motown’s 25th anniversary special mesmerized me as a child. The man whose videos I had watched repeatedly and whose dance moves I clumsily attempted to master.  It just didn’t seem real.  Yet, when I made it to the terminal, the television monitors were tuned to CNN and groups of people had gathered beneath and were staring intently at the images of his body being wheeled into an ambulance.  It was real.  Michael Jackson was dead.

There are those today who will remember Michael Jackson for many reasons – his eccentricities ad his legal troubles to name a few. I, however, plan to focus on his dazzling career, historic accomplishments and volumes of songs that have stood the test of time.

RIP, Michael.  Thank you for the years you dedicated to bringing joy to your millions of fans worldwide.

May 28 – 31, 2010

Thank you for your bravery and sacrifice.

Happy Memorial Day.  While many celebrated today with picnics and cookouts, pool parties and beach holidays, I hope a moment was taken observe the true intent of this day – honoring our brave servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can have picnics & cookouts and pool parties & beach holidays.  Let a veteran know his or her hard work was and is appreciated.

May you now find peace.

We lost a television icon on May 28.  Gary Coleman, who portrayed the character Arnold Jackson on the hit sitcom Diff’rent Strokes, passed away from head injuries sustained in fall at his home in Utah.  Although he grew to dislike the character and catchphrase that him famous – “Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout Willis?” – I hope he understood the hours of joy he and the cast of Diff’rent Strokes provided me and countless other children of the ’80s who sang along to the theme song, swooned over  Arnold’s older brother Willis and thought of Arnold as the little brother they either had or wished they had.  Farewell, dear fellow.

Rest, Easy Rider

We also lost Dennis Hopper on May 29, 2010 after a valiant fight with cancer.  I am too young to remember his hit Easy Rider, and only saw a few of his films, Blue Velvet being the standout for me.  Goodnight to a great writer and actor.

A member of the Temptations lost his battle with cancer on May 30, 2010.  Ali-Ollie Woodson was not a founding member of the Hall of Fame quintet, but was lead singer in the ’80s and ’90s.  I remember humming along to “Treat Her Like a Lady”  while it played on the radio and loving the conviction in his voice and velvety delivery.  Thank you for sharing your gift with the world.

A beautiful, soulful voice.

As the extended weekend draws to a close, I am reminded more than ever how fleeting life is.  Remember to tell those closest to you how much you love them and don’t assume they already know.  Take time from your busy days to smell the roses, appreciate a clear blue sky and have one good belly laugh.

May you continue to be showered with God’s blessings and mercies.