Friday, June 26, 2009


Who could imagine losing two icons in one day?

We all knew about Farrah (or at least, I'm sure most of us did...those of us with televisions and internet access, that is) and her death did not really come as a surprise. I saw her documentary "Farrah's Story" last month and was really touched by the story it told. You see, I lost my sister to breast cancer almost nine years ago and while I wasn't there with her every minute of her battle, Farrah's story brought home to me some of the struggles I know my sister went through.

Probably the one thing that touched me the most was what Farrah did when she started losing her hair. She had her friend Jose Eber shave off all that signature blonde hair (leaving a bit in the front) and she seemed perfectly content to be bald. My sister was the same way. When she started to lose her hair, she had our mother (I guess Jose wasn't available) cut off all her auburn hair. Mom cried buckets, but Linda said she felt liberated, because it was her choice to lose the hair, rather than the cancer taking it. And I really understood that when Farrah did it to her own hair.

So when I read about Farrah's passing yesterday, I was sad for her and her family, but having watched my sister's struggle, I knew that Farrah and her family were finally at peace.

But the shock was when I heard about Michael Jackson. That was a "wait...what?" moment. I was at my computer, loading up my iPod for my trip when I heard my mother yelling in the other room. I had the ear-buds in so I couldn't hear her, so when I went to see what she was yelling about, she told me. I couldn't believe it. While he wasn't exactly the picture of health, I certainly didn't know about any problems he was having. He was preparing to do 50 shows in London, for goodness sake. But there it was, on the television, "King of Pop, Dead at 50."

I sat and watched the news with her, which, of course, didn't have much to say at that point and the first thought that came to my mind was "heart attack." The second thought, "aneurysm." Those were the only two things I could think of that can kill you suddenly without any indication that there was a problem. Now it looks like my first assumption might be the correct one...but we'll see.

Say what you will about the craziness of the last 10 years or so, the man made an impact on the music business the likes of which are rarely seen. I remember singing along with the Jackson 5 hits, watching the Jackson 5 Saturday morning cartoons (remember?), dancing to songs from "Off the Wall", watching the fluid way he moved and danced and the amazement I felt the first time I saw "Thriller". That's the Michael Jackson I choose to remember.

And I loaded his songs onto my iPod because I'm sure I'll be thinking about his music as I drive to South Carolina.

Rest in Peace, Farrah and Michael.

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