June 25th, 2013: 4 Years, and The Moon Carries On

That Smile Was The Light Of Many Lives
That Smile Was The Light Of Many Lives

I don’t know where you are in the world right now. But here, it is bright and early, 9am on June 25th, 2013. And so, as per my annual tradition now, I sit down to reflect on what this day means for me, and to MJ fans all over the world. However, I have had a dawning realization since late last night that I really don’t know what else to say, that I haven’t already said in every previous year, and throughout hundreds of posts since. Yet to allow this day to pass with no commemoration seemed too cold to contemplate. June 25th, 2009 was a day that changed my life forever. I’m sure a lot of you reading this know exactly what I mean. But what to say? At such times as this, when I find myself sitting and staring blankly at the monitor screen (pssst, it’s called writer’s block!) I try an old trick that never fails. I just open up my heart and allow Michael, and God, to guide me. I always feel secure that they will prod me in the direction I need to go.

So as I sat here stuck for words this morning, a strange thing happened. The song “Scared of the Moon” would not leave my mind. This was a song I didn’t even know existed until after June 25th, 2009. It was probably one of the first “previously unreleased” songs by Michael that I discovered, and it was a song that I returned to many times throughout that summer, as I was learning more and more about “the man [I] never knew.”

June 25th, 2009, had been a long work day for me. I had been at school, prepping evening lessons, since noon. I was re-reading Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”. Looking back on it now, it seems appropriate that on the day Michael passed into his new existence, I was reading Joyce Carol Oates’ seminal story of a girl who passes from one existence into another, the moment she makes the decision to answer Arnold Friend’s seductive beckoning and step outside her door. Connie, the young 15-year-old girl in the story, knows her life will never be the same once she steps out that door. There will be no turning back. “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is often analyzed as a feminist allegory, and its ending is purposely ambiguous, as most literary fiction is. How are we to interpret Connie’s action? Is she being born into a new life, or has she just embarked on the path to her own death? And will that be a physical death (really, we have no idea what this creep Arnie Friend is up to, nor does Connie!) or merely a metaphoric one?

As I was reading and making notes, I had no idea of the drama that was then unfolding, on the other side of the continent. It would still be several hours before the news would report that Michael Jackson had died, and even after that, a few more until I would hear it myself. Like most work days, I was in a bubble, for back then, I didn’t even have a computer in the office. To save on gas, I would be there until I taught my 5:30pm class, and would head home after the class let out around 6:45.

It Seems Bizarre Now To Think That This Was The Story I Was Preparing To Teach On June 25th, 2009. This Was A Day That Effectively, Forever, Cut My Life Into Two Halves-The Before And After.
It Seems Bizarre Now To Think That This Was The Story I Was Preparing To Teach On June 25th, 2009. This Was A Day That Effectively, Forever, Cut My Life Into Two Halves-The Before And After.

The vibe in the classroom was strange that evening. There wasn’t much enthusiasm for Oates’ story, even though I tried my best to make it interesting. Had the students already heard? I don’t know, because if they did, no one mentioned it. But a weird pall seemed to hang over the classroom. I ended up letting them out about five minutes early. There didn’t seem any point in dragging things on. I jumped into my vehicle, heading home. I surfed through a few radio stations, and heard Thriller. It seemed an odd thing to hear, since Thriller hadn’t exactly been a radio staple in the last few years, not even on the oldies stations. But I just figured one of the 80’s oldies stations had dusted it off and was giving it a whirl. I cranked it up. It sounded good. It made me forget, for a few moments, my long and crappy day. I bopped along happily, all the way up through Vincent Price’s rap, only to discover as the song ended that I was listening to a COUNTRY station. The deejay apologized for breaking format, but said she believed listeners would understand.

“Michael Jackson died today, at age 50.”

The words rattled in my brain, and then it felt as if my entire heart sank into my feet. I don’t even remember how I got home that day, because I was on auto pilot all the rest of the way. The only thing I recall now is that, briefly, every familiar, iconic image from Michael’s life flashed through my mind at once. And I remember passing a soft ball field where kids were playing a summer afternoon game (it was only a little past seven, and still daylight). It struck me as odd that normal, everyday life was still going on. How could a soft ball game be in progress! Hadn’t they heard? Michael Jackson was dead!

When I got home and came in the front door, Shane was watching CNN. We said it at the same time. “Michael Jackson’s dead!”

Michael Jackson was dead, at age 50. Nothing would ever be the same.

Believe It Or Not, I Was Beaten Up In Second Grade..By A Michael Jackson Fan!
Believe It Or Not, I Was Beaten Up In Second Grade..By A Michael Jackson Fan!

I sometimes joke that Michael and I grew up together. But that’s not a far fetched truth. He was only five years older than me, and throughout every stage of my life, his music had been a constant in some form or another, whether it was The Jackson 5 in my grade school years, or “Blame It On The Boogie” when I was a teenager, or “Billie Jean” the year I was engaged to my first husband, or “You Are Not Alone” the year I found myself divorced, and…well, alone. Once, in second grade, I got in a fist fight with a little girl over Michael. It’s funny looking back on it now, because I was the detractor. I said I would puke if I had to hear Rockin’ Robin one more time on the radio. A little girl balled her fist and said, “You got a problem with Michael?” I said, “Yeah, they play him too damn much.” I got a punch in the face.

Yes, even back then, Michael’s fans were a force to be reckoned with!

Years later, I remembered the hysteria that gripped Alabama when he was in Birmingham, rehearsing for the Victory tour. So many were trying to get into the city, just to catch a glimpse of him, that they practically passed an ordinance that no one could enter Birmingham unless they lived there or could prove they worked there. I’m not kidding. They set up roadblocks to turn back all but local traffic! We would get the radio updates…where he had been spotted that day; where he might be rumored to pop up tomorrow! We heard the stories of him Witnessing door to door, on a quiet Sunday morning in Trussville. It seemed magical to think that you could just be going about your daily business, in your average little house on an average Sunday morning, and have Michael Jackson knock at your door out of the blue! We just never knew. Michael was like the wind; somehow you never saw him, but you always knew when he was around.

I Realized I Had Known A Lot About Him...But I Didn't Know HIM
I Realized I Had Known A Lot About Him…But I Didn’t Know HIM

I had so many memories, through good times and bad. But what bothered me most in those early days after we lost him was the realization that, through all of those years and all the music and all the memories, I had never known him! I had no conception of who the man Michael Jackson was, other than what I read in the tabloids. Like so many around the world who were feeling that tug (for whatever reason!) I signed up for my first MJ fan site, determined to make up for a lifetime of passive ignorance. I couldn’t understand why I was so sad, and grieving so intensely, for someone I hadn’t even been a huge fan of in life, except that he’d always been there. And now, I felt the aching numbness; the emptiness, of where his presence had been uprooted and removed, forever.

moonNow here’s where it really gets bizarre. For a long time after June 25th, 2009, I could not bear to look at the moon. It had nothing to do with all those cliches’ about Michael as the moonwalker. Rather, it had more to do with the fact that every time I looked at the moon, I was reminded that the earth had grown a little less magical, and a lot colder, without Michael on it. I would look at the moon and think, “He is out there, somewhere. He has to be. Look how much brighter the moon is tonight.” And it was true. For a long time, the moon seemed more luminous somehow, as if it had absorbed the light and the magic that was no longer among us. Also, of course, I was feeling a lot of the same numbness and disconnect that always hits me when I am grieving an intense loss. I remember, for example, looking up at the moon the night my grandmother died. It was a full moon that night, and I remembered thinking that this was the first night in eighty-six years that the moon had shone on a world without Grandmother in it. Its light that night was no comfort, but instead felt strange and inexplicably empty.

I discovered Michael’s song Scared of the Moon by accident, as I discovered so many things about him in those days. Although I learned later that he wrote the song for Brooke Shields, I couldn’t help but think (and still can’t help but think) that at least some of it must have been autobiographical, as well, especially when we consider the passages underlined below:

Alone she lays waiting
Surrounded by gloom
Invaded by shadows
Painting the room
The light from the window
Cuts through the air
And pins the child lying there
Scared Of The Moon

She pulls up the covers
And shivers in fright
She hides from the color
That rides on the night
The light through the window
That lights up the sky
And causes her mournful cry
Scared Of The Moon

There’s nothing wrong
Don’t be bothered they said
It’s just childish fantasies turning your head
No need to worry
It’s really too soon
But there she lies shivering
Scared Of The Moon

Scared Of The Moon
Scared Of The Moon
Scared Of The Moon
Scared Of The Moon

The years go by swiftly
And soon childhood ends
But life is still fearful
When evening descends
The fear of the child
Still intrude the night
Returning on beams of light
Scared Of The Moon

The feeling of terror
She felt as a youth
Has turned from a fantasy
Into a truth
The moon is the enemy
Twisting her soul
And taking its fearful toll
Scared Of The Moon

But now there are others who sit in their room
And wait for the sunlight to brighten their gloom
Together they gather
Their lunacy shared
Not knowing just why they’re scared
Scared Of The Moon

Scared Of The Moon
Scared Of The Moon
Scared Of The Moon
Scared Of The Moon

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLNR8p23vLc[/tube]

I don’t know a lot about Brooke Shields’s life, or childhood, for that matter, other than that, like Michael, she was a child star who had worked since infancy, and by the time she was twelve, was already playing roles as a prostitute. I don’t know what trauma or what personal feelings she might have confided in Michael to produce this beautiful but painfully haunting song. I remember having a conversation with a friend of Michael’s some years ago and how we both laughed when she said, “You knew better than to tell Michael your personal business, if you didn’t want it to end up in a song.” It was usually only after the fact, once the song had become a chart topping hit or a famous album track, that Michael might come up to you, biting his lower lip, and say, “I hope you won’t be mad at me, but…”

Michael Was Said To Have Written Scared of the Moon For Brooke..But Was It Partly Autobiographical, As Well?
Michael Was Said To Have Written Scared of the Moon For Brooke..But Was It Partly Autobiographical, As Well?

I still believe, though, that what Michael tapped into in Brooke’s story was not so much about her, but a kindred feeling they both shared. In the final verse, the song shifts into a communal experience, as it is no longer just the girl’s experience, but that of many kindred souls whose pain and lunacy are “shared.”

This morning, the song took on an even more painful meaning for me. I always think of Michael’s children on this day, of course. But this year, my thoughts for them are more profound than usual. Tomorrow, Prince is due to have to testify in court. And Paris, bless her heart, will spend this day still confined (as far as I know at this writing) at UCLA Medical Center. Rumor has it that she will soon be transferred to another facility for long term treatment. But as of today, not only is she facing one more June 25th without her dad, but she is having to endure it while confined in the same place where her nightmare journey began four years ago.

The idea of Paris being confined in such a facility made this last verse of Scared of the Moon suddenly take on a whole new, razor sharp meaning for me this morning:

But now there are others who sit in their room
And wait for the sunlight to brighten their gloom
Together they gather
Their lunacy shared
Not knowing just why they’re scared
Scared Of The Moon

When I go back through the lyrics, it hits me that almost every word now could apply to Paris. It is she, now, who is that scared child “pinned lying there,” longing for the lost magic of the light she once knew; alone now and trapped in the dark.

Paris Is Now That Scared And Pinned Child, Alone In The Dark
Paris Is Now That Scared And Pinned Child, Alone In The Dark

Thus, I realized that I know now why I could not write until I opened my heart to Michael’s message. His energy, I feel, is not with us today. It is with his children. I feel that is what he wants from us today, more than our roses, our poems, our memorials, our candles, our tributes, our remembrances. It’s nice to remember his life. But today, I feel strongly that what he wants and needs from us most is our prayers of healing for his children. May their light come soon, and brighten those shadows of fear-and loss.

And look, see, I have generated over two thousand words! Not bad for a case of writer’s block!

 

 

49 thoughts on “June 25th, 2013: 4 Years, and The Moon Carries On”

  1. As always, you have found just the right words. Michael’s reach was wide and his legacy encompassed many things but his children (as I am sure he would agree) are the most important parts of that legacy.
    If you say prayers or have meditations today for him be certain to include Prince, Paris and Blanket. More than anything I believe that is what he would want.

  2. Thanks Raven for this comforting blog. I also never knew him of course, and only became a fan a year after he had died, and yet I feel sad on this day. A friend rang me to sympathise as I have spent most of the day (in Cape Town we are 9 hrs ahead of Los Angeles) listening to or watching Michael as I burn a candle for him, and said that perhaps I feel the way I do because he is my ‘psychic brother’. I am sure millions of his fans feel this way too. Yes of course we are all praying for Prince, Paris and Blanket as they are indeed a part of his personal legacy, and if I am feeling sad, then I can’t imagine how they must be feeling today. Rest In Peace brother Michael – we love and miss you.

  3. Oh, Raven, it seems you always have something else to say that you haven’t already said. This is what had to be said today and it brought me through several states of emotions while reading it. First came tears, than I had to laugh about the second grade story and then I became very thoughtful when you talked about the children needing Michael’s whole energy now. Yes, very true!

  4. This was profound, Raven. The sense of loss will never really leave us but, you are right, we need to be strong and surround his children with our love and light. This is a very sad day but we will all see him again. “But til that day, I said you got to keep the faith.”

  5. Thanks Raven. You are always able to bring to us the way we are feeling but that we are unable to say. But really, there aren´t enough words in any language that could translate the feelings of millions of fans about Michael, at least I don´t have words to describe him, his genius, his music, his kindness, his gentleness. That is why I don´t even try.
    This is really a sad day. He is no longer with us, nevertheless I consider him a fantastic winner over everything and his name won´t be forgotten.

    We all LOVE and Miss him!

  6. Yes, our prayers are with Prince, Paris and Blanket as always! I too believe that we shall see Michael again. It’s unfortunate because I hardly heard anyone mention Michael Jackson’s death today. I was kind of hurt by that. But Raven thank you as always for being so thought provoking. I loved that story about you being in that fight with that second grader, too funny! 🙂 Do any of you listen to Jackson Truth Radio with Jackie’s kids Siggy and Brandy (on Urban Soul Radio)? I only heard Heaven Can Wait. That was the only reference I heard on JTR to Michael but then again I didn’t listen to the whole thing. Perhaps they are trying to move on. I wonder if the Jacksons want June to have another meaning for them, seeing that Taj was married on June 16. I was thinking about this: perhaps Michael’s memory should be kept only on the 10, 25, 30, or 50th year of his death. Only because Prince, Paris and Blanket are always reminded of him on June 25 of every year. Perhaps they should only acknowledge the MJ fan fest in Gary every August so that their memories can be more light hearted. Perhaps this would be easier on MJ’s kids and on Katherine. It was reported that Paris is finally getting a chance to really grieve the death of her father since she’s been at UCLA. In the end, these are only my ideas because like I’ve said before, I’ve never lost anyone.

    My tribute to Michael was this: I had a moment of silence and prayed. I thanked God that Michael Jackson was here on this earth and that he was with God, far from the cares of this world, where he can watch his children grow up in total happiness. Michael, we love you so much! I just can’t stop lovin’ you!

    1. As you know, Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in marking such anniversaries, anyway. To my knowledge, Katherine and Rebbie are the only ones who are still faithful members, but to some extent, that disregard for anniversaries may be something they’ve all carried over from the JW influence.

      It has to be very confusing for Michael’s kids, who grew up with Christmases and birthdays. (Although I really don’t think Katherine is nearly as strict as she was with her own kids-and as some would say, judging by Paris’s internet behavior, just the opposite; she hasn’t been nearly strict enough).

      I think it is good to take both June 25th and August 29th out as days for reflection. But August 29th feels more joyous because we are celebrating the beginning of his life. June 25th feels more somber because we are reflecting on his physical loss.

      For example, I enjoy going up to Gary every year for the birthday celebrations. On June 25th, I don’t feel as inclined to want to travel, or to mingle with other fans (although I would love to make it out to Forest Lawn one day). I feel like I just want quiet time on that day.

      What is happening is inevitable, and normal. I still remember what a huge deal it was when Elvis Presley died. On his first death anniversary, it was a huge deal in the media, but every year thereafter, it got less and less coverage. Now it is only his diehard fans who make the Graceland pilgrimage every August 16th. Maybe some cable TV channel will play one of his movies. But that’s about it. After 35 years, it’s just another day to most of the world.

      Michael will always be remembered, but as the shock of his death lessens, there won’t be as many tributes or accolades.
      However, that won’t change what this date means for the people who love him.

  7. Raven, thanks for sharing and for your touching post.

    Last night I dreamed of a Michael besieged by the public, in his clothing military style black jacket with silver inserts.
    He had one arm tight on the right side of his hip, holding him leaning as if not wanting to drop something that was hiding inside that side of his jacket.

    In the dream, I realize that under that side of the jacket sticking out a small arm of a child.
    Michael made ​​his way through the audience, he is always with that attitude to keep her jacket tight squeeze in his right side.
    He then looks straight at me and said, almost in a whisper: “I have Paris, hidden in here, I do not want falling. She is small, if she falls, she breaks.”

    I still shudder to this dream, it was beautiful and sad, he left me a sense of helplessness, but perhaps also of hope, I do not know ….

    1. Wow! I think your dream expresses exactly what he is feeling right now. I believe his energy-or whatever you want to believe we become after death-is protecting her right now. And I believe he would tell us exactly what you said.

      Prince said in his court testimony that Michael’s death has been harder on Paris than any of them. He said she was her daddy’s little princess.

      The hope may come from the fact that your dream showed him in charge, and actively protecting her. If this is what is happening (and I believe it is) then we need not fear for her too much. She will be fine.

      1. Thanks Raven for your darling reply , I really hope that your words are the reality for Michael’s three children.

  8. Paris’ very life is at stake, because of the relentless, criminal bullying she has been subjected to, via the internet, and at school. There seems very little that her family can do about it. But I do not understand why Debbie Rowe has not protected her child against the outrageous media campaign mounted by Mark Lester, for reasons best known to him. A lie repeated enough is perceived as the truth. Lester gets paid by tabloids for his lies about MJ asking him for sperm, and that he’s Paris’ ‘real’ father. Debbie Rowe just stands by as this guy exploits Paris for economic gain and causes her untold emotional distress.

    When Lester was limited to UK tabloids, which are notoriously untruthful, it didn’t seem to matter that much. But the story was picked up by The View this morning, and the hosts seemed to believe Lester’s lie about “donating sperm”, and even joked about it. There seems to be zero consideration for the minor children whose existence is being mocked.

    Debbie Rowe is supposed to be so outspoken, so “tough”. Where’s that toughness when it’s needed? She says that TMZ is accurate, and she calls Harvey Levin a longtime friend. Defend your former husband, Debbie. Defend your child against this creep! If she can’t do this, she should go back to playing with the horses bought with MJ’s money and stop trying to be “Mom” when it serves her interests.

  9. Honestly, Simba, I don’t really think there’s anything that Debbie Rowe can do about the media, especially British media. Unless we were part of Michael’s inner circle, none of us really knows the intimate details. I don’t believe what TMZ publishes. One can only speculate that Debbie is bursting with anger and frustration at what is being published now. She doesn’t court the limelight. She really wants no part of it. I feel bad that people say the ugliest, harshest things about her. She loved Michael Jackson. I can’t make judgments about the decisions she and Michael made. I only care about what happens to his children now. I’m not sure Michael really understood the ramifications of his decisions to not include Debbie in their lives but it was his decision nonetheless. I knew this trial was going to make things ugly but I had no idea just how ugly it has become–and there’s more to come! Lord help us all, especially Michael’s dear children and Katherine.

  10. I agree, Ladypurr9. I don’t konw why Debbie Rowe would want to get caught up in all that maelstrom of publicity and media madness. She was exposed to it at one time, and reportedly hated it. And we can’t be sure that Michael understood the full ramifications of this decision, or indeed many decisions he made in the course of his life. Do any of us, in fact, know that much? Can we foretell the future?

    I don’t know what she could possibly do about these reports, anyway. The American tabloids are no better than the British ones.

    One British paper reports that Paris wants to visit with Mark Lester. Who knows *what* the truth is?

  11. Nonsense! This man Lester is terrorizing her daughter, and there’s “nothing” she can do about it? She can call him out in the media herself. She can sue him for intentional infliction of emotional distress. She can go to London and punch him in the nose for that matter!

    Paris Jackson is Debbie Rowe’s MINOR child, and she’s being exploited in the creepiest way by Mark Lester. She certainly lashed out when one of her horses was being distressed.

    It does not matter that Debbie doesn’t “like” to get involved with the media. Her child’s well-being is at stake. If it were my child being attacked, if some nutjob kept imploring my daughter to come live with him, no element of the media or the law would hold me back – I’d go after that SOB with everything at my disposal.

    1. What’s she going to say? “Shut up Mr. Lester u are not Paris’ bio dad”? She could do that and then what? Mark Lester is going to listen and crawl back under a rock? No he won’t.

      What’s she going to do, sue Mark Lester for slander? Well it is only slander if it is not true. To prove it is not true Paris, Debbie & Mark would have to provide samples for DNA testing. If the samples return that Mark is not the father, then Klien will want his day, and God knows who else will come out of the wood work.

      I do believe that the question should be answered for Paris’ sake. Debbie, Katherine and Taj should do this discreetly, and between themselves and not involve family or friends. Yes, MJ was her daddy and we may say it doesn’t matter he raised her, but she is fragile and since they are piranhas out there who will lie in wait it is better for her to be armed with truth. It would be one less thing that they can say about her father to hurt her. If it turns out Michael is not her bio father it is better she deals with it now than later. Now that she is a minor and can be taken care of then when she is an adult and surrounded by the sycophants.

      1. Paris Jackson is under no obligation to prove that this casual acquaintance is not her father. Mark Lester has NO moral or legal right to claim she is his daughter. Under California law, there is only a two year window to question paternity. Paris was already four years old when she met the Lesters. Lester never even hinted at such a claim when Michael Jackson was alive. But MJ is dead now – he isn’t the aggrieved party. Paris is.

        This is intentional infliction of emotional distress, not slander. Ordinarily this is a difficult claim to make, but slicing your arm with a meat cleaver and swallowing twenty Motrin is very persuasive.

        I am astonished that intelligent people could entertain the notion that this “fantasist”, as his ex-wife refers to him, could have a legitimate claim. There is no doubt in my mind that Michael Jackson is the biological father of his children. But legally and morally, it does not matter. His name is on the birth certificate, and there was no timely challenge to his paternity. Mark Lester has no right to sell his lies to a willing tabloid press at the expense of a vulnerable child who is suffering the loss of her father. Her “real” father – Michael Jackson.

        1. Whatever you chose to call it any court case that Debbie Jean Rowe mounts with Lester/Klein over their claims will involve a DNA test. Fans constantly say, “he’s their daddy”, “he raised them”, “he loved them”, “it doesn’t matter”. All true, but to a child it does matter, because it goes towards your identity. I guarantee you if this issue isn’t settle with these kids sooner rather than later it will come back to bite big time.

          When Paris gets out of the hospital, and God forbid goes back to her regular internet routine, the bullies are not going to stop and be sympathic. No, they can’t wait for her to be back on Facebook and twitter, they will add her suicide attempt to their arsenal. Their goal is to destroy her b/c of jealousy. She is everything they are not: rich, beautiful, famous. Anything that led her to UCLA’s doors should be left behind them when she leaves.

          1. Do you believe that Michael Jackson lied to his children? Your response seems to indicate that. There is no other reason to think that his children don’t know their ‘identity’, and will somehow suffer if they don’t lower themselves to submitting to a public DNA test. They KNOW that MJ is their biological father.

            If Mark Lester persists in his nonsense, then he’s the one who has to prove it, and he can not do that, because he made it all up. His sperm collection story is preposterous, and he’s got the dates of birth and conception wrong. Klein, Lester, Fiddes, we’ve seen it all before – remember the three guys who claimed to be the father if Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter? Anything for money!

    2. @Simba June 27, 2013 at 6:26 am

      I do not believe Michael Jackson lied to his children, he told them that he is their father and he is/was. Where did I say the kids should lower themselves to submit to a PUBLIC DNA test? let me reiterated

      ” .. Debbie, Katherine and Taj should do this discreetly, and between themselves and not involve family or friends..”. – Teva: June 27, 2013 at 12:55 am

      I stand behind my words. If the kids are not being damage in anyway with all these baby daddy claims, then there is no point to having a DNA test. However, if it is causing a child pain, and confusion then the matter should be settled quietly. Again if Debbie Rowe like you suggested sue Lester for “intentional infliction of emotional distress” , then yes, there definitely would be a PUBLICLY known DNA test.

      I don’t think Anna Nicole Smith is a good comparison. . . . the man she claimed as the father (Howard Stern) was not, and Larry Birdhead was the one who petitioned for a paternity test and turned out to be the father.

      1. I’m sorry – I don’t understand your previous post. What do Debbie, Katherine, and Taj (sic) have to do discreetly and between themselves?

        If Debbie Rowe decided to sue Lester, or just call him out publicly, it doesn’t require a DNA test. Paris Jackson is the child of a legitimate marriage between Debbie Rowe and Michael Jackson. Under the law, Michael is presumed to be her father, and this is further reinforced by the fact that there was no timely challenge to her paternity. Lester has NO legal standing to claim her now. He can not compel her to undergo a DNA comparison. She doesn’t have to do it to shut him up. Paris doesn’t have to prove anything in order to bring suit against him.

        1. I would think that on his own Mark Lester could not legally compel Paris to submit to a DNA test because as you said he has no legal standing. However, the waters become murky for me if Debbie Rowe sues him for “intentional infliction of emotional distress” because she is now bringing him legally into the picture. Michael Jackson as the legal parent of Paris would never be challenged by a lawyer for the defendant as Lester never said otherwise. His claim is being the biological father. Debbie will have to prove that Mark Lester’s lies caused her daughter emotional distress, and ML’s lawyer will ask the court to first establish if it is a lie.

          1. Lester claims to be Paris Jackson’s father for one reason only – in order to make money. He’s able to do that because her actual father is Michael Jackson, whose worldwide fame is a commercial commodity, and whose rights and dignity have NEVER been respected by the media. Lester has no right to interfere in Paris’ relationship with her parents. No court would require her to establish that his claim is a lie; it is offensive on its face, and devastating to a grieving child.

            Under the law, Michael’s paternity is unassailable, and Lester knows it. He just wants to make money. Lester’s exploitation of a vulnerable minor is truly disgusting, and he should be called to account for it, in or out of court. It’s sad to me that anyone would buy into this shameless hustler’s lies. I do feel sorry for Lester’s actual children, who must live with the knowledge that their father sold out a friend for money.

          2. I sometimes wish there would be an official DNA test,with the results released publicly, not because I think the kids should have to prove anything, but simply to shut up all this speculation for once and all. But even then, people would still be trying to discredit the results, just as they’ve continued to ignore that the autopsy report confirmed vitiligo (or have spun their own outlandish theories regarding how he got vitiligo) so I don’t know if it would really solve anything. I just get bone weary with it being an issue. The truth is, if Michael’s children had come out with dark skin and kinky hair, but looked absolutely nothing like him in any other regard, this subject wouldn’t even be an issue in the media. Everyone seems to assume that all biracial children are supposed to look black, as if having white genes somehow isn’t half of their DNA makeup.

            Something I keep going back to are those reports from 1996 and 1997 that Michael had taken a paternity test as part of his and Debbie’s prenuptial agreement. No one questioned those reports back then. I still do not know if they have any validity, but usually, rumors like that don’t just develop out of thin air. Of course, what we don’t know is what results this DNA test may have yielded. But it seems unlikely Michael would have gone through with the arrangement if, in fact, Debbie was pregnant with another man’s child. It would make sense to me that he would WANT to know that wasn’t Arnie Klein’s baby before he shelled out millions of dollars. (The only way I could see this happening would be either: Klein was such a good friend that he was okay with it, or Debbie did manage to hoodwink him, but Michael being the kind hearted soul that he was, and wanting children as badly as he did, decided not to make an issue of it but to raise the child as his). Those are just some thoughts, for what they’re worth. But as I’ve continued to say, it makes NO SENSE why Michael would have been trying so hard to have his OWN babies with Lisa Marie, only to turn around and seek sperm donors once she was out of the picture. I don’t buy that he had fertility issues (if he had, those issues would have been present during his marriage to LMP, as well) although, yes, it is possible there could have been medical issues that were never made public. But I just find it doubtful, and again, the autopsy report more or less confirmed that there were no fertility issues. (However, the autopsy report wouldn’t have accounted for psychological issues, such as, for example, fears of passing on vitiligo to the children). Besides, it all comes back to the fact that any of those issues would have still been issues during his marriage to LMP, who has confirmed that pressure to have a baby was one of the reasons she bailed out of the marriage.

            So for those who want to say he “hated his race” and didn’t want to pass on his black genes, they have to get past that little hurdle, as well. Did he suddenly decide he hated being black only AFTER his divorce from LMP? Lol. Don’t think so. Of course, the people who would say that anyway are the same ones who will swear up and down that the marriage to LMP was fake, so there you go. They have an excuse for everything and every theory, and will remain in staunch denial even when the truth comes from the horse’s mouth and every bit of official evidence supports a contrary result.

            As for Mark Lester, even if we play devil’s advocate for a millisecond and assume he MIGHT have a legitimate claim, that obviously would have been a highly confidential agreement between himself and Michael, an agreement that Lester is choosing now to dishonor. Which automatically makes him “less than” in my eyes. There is no reason to be singing all of this to the media. Mark Lester knows that those are Michael’s children. If a desire for custody isn’t the issue (which it isn’t) then that means he’s only doing it for attention, which is serving no purpose except his own. If this was some desire to reach out to Paris as a father figure, that could certainly be handled privately.

            As for Debbie suing him, I don’t know enough about the legalities of the situation to say whether that would be a good or bad idea. With Michael gone, Debbie alone holds the key to the truth-unless she was just blindly accepting whatever sperm was used (sorry to be crude, but…). I would think at the very least, she could go to the papers and say, “Mark. STFU.”

            I agree with you. If Lester had ANY concerns at all for Paris’s well being, he would shut up and quietly disappear out of the picture. Michael was the man she called “daddy” and the man she adored; the man who was at the center of her world. She doesn’t give a rat’s fig about Mark Lester, Arnie Klein or anyone else that comes out of the woodwork. Nor does Prince or Blanket, I can guarantee you. Prince doesn’t even care much for Debbie Rowe, who was never part of his life. I know he cares nothing about “Mr. Joe-Blow-um-I-mighta-donated-some-sperm.”

            Mark my words, one day soon-and it won’t be long-the kids are going to publicly announce to all of these men where they can stick it.

  12. June 25th, 2009, wasn’t the day that changed my life forever. It was the day—some months later—that I watched “This Is It.” I can still remember the profound enlightening I felt, ‘seeing’ Michael, as if something holy had merged from him into my room.

    I wasn’t a Michael Jackson fan. In fact I had rented the film at my local video store—as a voyeur, curious to see a freak. When the film ended, I sat still for a long time, no longer tired, not wanting to go to bed. I tried to shake off the disturbing sense of wonderment that my life had just been changed by—it couldn’t be— Michael Jackson.

    I am a rational person. I am an intelligent person. I am analytical—and very well-educated. I employed every one of my resources to dispel the spellbinding presence of Michael in my life. It seemed to make no sense, until suddenly it did. His presence in my life was making me a better person—more understanding toward others, more open, more kind. His essence started affecting every aspect of my life. I’ve become a more loving, more generous person as a result. I know, now, because of Michael—it’s all for love.

    The most puzzling aspect of all for me, though, was the overwhelming sense of love I developed for Michael—someone I never knew and never met. I struggled for a long time trying to fend off my ‘irrational’ feelings, then surrendering to what my heart felt. Why do I love him so? I still don’t know, but I do. And the below song says it all. When I heard it after he passed, I knew it spoke to what I felt and still feel. It says it all. And that’s enough.

    Song from Jesus Christ Superstar: “I Don’t Know How to Love Him”

    “I don’t know how to love him, what to do, how to move him.
    I’ve been changed, yes really changed. In these past few days
    when I’ve seen myself, I seem like someone else.

    I don’t know how to take this—I don’t see why he moves me.
    He’s a man, he’s just a man, and I’ve known so many men before, in very
    many ways. He’s just one more.

    Should I bring him down? Should I scream and shout? Should I speak of love?
    Let my feelings out? I never thought I’d come to this. What’s it all about?

    Don’t you think it’s rather funny that I should be in this position?
    I’m the one who’s always been so calm, so cool—no lover’s fool,
    running every show. He scares me so.
    I never thought I’d come to this. What’s it all about?

    Yet if he ever he loved me, I’d be lost, I’d be frightened.
    I couldn’t cope—just couldn’t cope. I’d turn my head, I’d back away,
    I wouldn’t want to know, he scares me so.
    I want him so.

    I love him so.”

    1. I think there are probably quite a few people who became fans after This Is It.

      If you had to single out one scene or one moment in the film that was the deciding factor-the moment of no turning back-which would it be?

  13. Ara you speak my heart absolutely and completely (apart from the bit about how you came to watch This Is It). A friend loaned it to me some 10 months after Michael had passed and like you I was completely blown away, and also couldn’t move for quite some time. I too felt that my almost consuming love for Michael was irrational, but now it doesn’t matter anymore, because, like you, his influence has made me a much better person, and in the long run that all that matters – for me This Is It!! This is Michael’s message and I am more than glad to live it every day.

  14. Just a thought.. have a look at some pictures of Michael as a boy smiling.. then have a look at a picture of Paris smiling.. their teeth are identical

    ( not that I think for one minute any of this is our damn business)

    1. Even in the lower registers, MJ’s voice goes where it wants, sometimes high, sometimes low, clear and soft, and always melodious.

    2. I would call it the higher end of his natural register. I’ve heard he almost always addressed the children in his natural voice. I don’t know if that’s true.

  15. Raven, sorry for the ‘sperm donor’ colloquy in your memorial thread, but it seems to me that MJ’s memory, and the lives of his children, would be enhanced if the shameless liars who glom onto his celebrity were made to put up or shut up. People criticize Katherine Jackson for suing AEG, but already a wealth of information that didn’t come out in the Murray trial has been revealed because AEG was compelled to defend itself.

    Michael Jackson was sued over a thousand times, by associates, ex-employees, ‘friends’, and total strangers who were obviously mentally deranged, and he was forced to expend enormous sums of money, time, and mental energy to defend every case. Under our system, the dead have no rights against defamation, but MJ’s young children are being brutalized by the likes of Lester, Klein, Fiddes, Pfeiffer, Thorson, Robson, and others waiting in the wings. As Tom Mesereau said, why work when you can sue Michael Jackson? Why work when some tabloid will cut you a check for lying about Michael Jackson and his children? This exploitation needs to be stopped.

    On another note, not to be crude, but regarding her pregnancies, according to Debbie Rowe, she used the sperm that came out of her husband’s penis. Years later, as verified by autopsy, he was still producing the little swimmers, and as numerous concert videos illustrate, MJ’s uh ‘delivery system’ in those days was in fine working condition!

  16. Thank you Max and Raven for your info! @Simba: the little swimmers and his delivery system, lmbo! Haha! 🙂

  17. Raven I feel gratitude for you and your work.

    I feel that Scared of the Moon, once you were explaining the parallel to Paris, also reminds me of the way all of us (fans) have come together in our “lunacy”. The feeling of community helps. There were times in the beginning of these four years that I felt I would burst for someone to talk to about these feelings.

    I remember always loving Michael when I was little and I never thought he could be guilty of those allegations. But the thing is, I also never sought out any information and took it further in my heart. Most of all, I never prayed for Michael during his trial. I felt immense guilt for these things once I sorted through feelings in the weeks that followed June 25th. So I thought about what would put me at ease if ever something were to happen to me and I died and left my children. The answer is that I would hugely appreciative to someone who took it upon him or herself to defend my honor, (if necessary) and most of all, if that someone prayed for my children. So that is why I started writing with the project to…uncover Michael’s name at Gardner Elementary, write to Oprah, etc, etc. I know it is not a lot in comparison to what you and the other wonderful bloggers do, but it works for me. It is the best way I can be that “someone” to Michael; giving of my heart and mind by writing rational truths and defense of their dad and including them in my prayers along with my very own children.

    @ Ara My life has changed irreversibly too. This will sound crazy but I lost 25 lbs. It was way too thin for me, but I just could not eat (I am of normal weight now-gained 10 lbs since Murray’s trial). Not only physically, but reading about Michael and really learning has caused a change in me spiritually, as you mentioned too. I was introduced to Wayne Dyer (and other spiritual humans) by his loving words after Michael passed, which has been a beautiful addition to my life and ripples outward beyond me even. I have also been able to feel more free to embrace the religion I was raised as…all because of Michael. I think he would be proud to know he brought people back to God:) I have gained a consciousness of generosity that was not as deep before. It is amazing how much you can give if you just dig deeper. Michael made me see this. Creatively I came back to the artful/intuitive individual, intrigued by “the process” I always was, but was not allowing it to take center stage in my life anymore for some stupid reason; but that is the real me! Michael revived this essence in me. Not to mention all I have learned about art and humanities and the sheer value of knowledge that I was overlooking (and I am a college graduate/teacher, but sometimes it takes a love from the deepest parts of your being to actually learn). These are all things that were present in me before I got married and became unhappy. I feel such gratitude to Michael. Ara, there are so many of us who are shining more brightly because of Michael. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Raven forgive me for being so personal. This four years is weighing on me. I’ll probably regret sharing so much later. Oh well. Grateful for all you have infused in this too. You are one of the “middle men” in my journey. Btw, read La Cuna yet?

    1. Monica, thanks for sharing this.
      In some ways, it happened to me very similar to yours.
      Reading and listening I realized that it’s happened to many people in the world, it is something very special, because even if you do not want to believe in nothing earth-shattering, however, the result is really an improvement in many humans, an increase in compassion, sensitivity, an high level moral investment, of which we can feel proud and improved.

      1. Yes, Nicoletta it is amazing isn’t it? All over the world…

        Also, being “just a fan”, I can’t imagine how surreal it all must have/has been for the fans who wrote those letters of concern. I never paid much attention to or even understood who they are or all the photo shop accusations running through certain blogs. I just think that Michael had such an effect on people who had no contact with him at all, so I wonder what have those individuals been through having been straddling the line between friend/fan/acquaintance.

        Just random wondering.

    2. No, I still have not. I have so many books I’m trying to get to, but am moving along at a snail’s rate, unfortunately.

      Thanks for your comments. And yes, I think a lot of us are better people because of Michael’s influence.

      1. Yes, so many people are “better” people. We also can’t forget more filled with child-like playfulness and wonder, related your reply to MagUK (whose garden sounds lovely btw).

  18. Raven, thank you once again for another great post.. and I love reading everyone’s comments.. I can relate to so many of the thoughts, opinions and emotions that are shared here.

    On Tuesday I was fine.. I got up early in the morning, shed a few tears, thought about all the things that have happened during the last 4 years and how Michael’s story continues, and then got on with my day.

    Today I have been in my back garden for most of this gloriously sunny day. A lot of it is deliberately left to grow wild for our wildlife friends (and the occasional moggy !!)
    Even so there was a fair amount of tidying up to do. My husband had cut some of the long grasses away from the trunk of one of the trees to discover a whole colony of snails of all sizes and that was it.. the tears started flowing again.

    It just made me think of Kai Chaise’s testimony (AEG) where she describes Michael catching her and Paris at night-time hunting for snails in the Carolwood garden ! She thought he would be cross and she would be sacked, but on the contrary he helped them to set up a snail farm in the kitchen!!

    Yes Raven.. I think Paris will be fine. I think Prince will be fine. I think Blanket will be fine. They had the best teacher in the world. Of course they will have difficulties …maybe they will veer off-course from time to time.. but I also believe that they will become an unstoppable force as they get older, and will continue Michael’s (true) legacy. Although I am not vindictive by nature I wouldn’t be sorry to see a few people get their “come-uppance” along the way.
    I wish PPB the best of joy.. and their Dad will have a place in my heart forever.

    1. I planted a flower garden for the first time this year. I always wanted a sunflower garden. Unfortunately, what was promising to be our tallest sunflower wilted and its head snapped. However, it now has three more buds growing, although it is considerably shorter now. Some of the others have overtaken it. At least two are over six feet now.

      We are learning a lot by experimentation, such as when to water, how often to water, when to prune, etc. It’s interesting. I never had a green thumb, but it’s amazing what you can learn just by tending to them on a daily basis.

      Now they are all budding, and should be in full bloom very soon. We also have black-eyed susans, petunias, and an assortment of wild flowers. But right now only the susans and petunias have any bloom.

      Speaking of the snails, it is amazing to think back and remember that when I was little, I loved playing with snails and worms. I would build snail gardens and worm farms; I would let the worms crawl all over my fingers. Now I’m so grossed out at the thought of touching a worm or snail that I probably couldn’t even do it without a tissue. Isn’t it amazing how we can altogether lose that childlike innocence and delight with God’s creatures that we have as children?

      I still love cute, cuddly things but I won’t touch a worm or a snail.

      1. Raven.. your garden sounds great .. good luck with it ,especially the sunflowers. They can be quite difficult to grow. Like you I can’t say I particularly like snails, worms, slugs etc , although I would never harm one. My husband just gathers them up and moves them to safety for me if need be..

        Oh.. now that’s reminded of the “bug on stage” thing , and since I wrote my (previous)comment I went back into the garden to find my husband had climbed to the top of our 30ft high “Christmas” fir tree. Unfortunately when I looked up he wasn’t writing beautiful poetry or lyrics, just removing some of the ivy that was threatening to overwhelm it !!(lol)

    1. I don’t know much about this Nanny Rose, either. Of course, Grace is the one we hear the most about, and right now if you try to google ANYTHING regarding Michael Jackson’s children’s nanny, all you’re going to get are links to the Grace Rawamaba story from Paris’s deposition, lol.

      There may be pics of them with Nanny Rose, but unless someone identified her, I wouldn’t know what she looks like.

      Yes, Michael reportedly learned about the Holocaust from Rose Fine.

      1. From her name, it’s likely that Sister Rose, aka Roselyn Muhammad, is a member of the Nation of Islam, like Michael Amir Williams (Brother Michael).

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