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02. Honoring Michael's Gift To The World On His Birthday.


It’s hard to believe that we are celebrating yet another of Michael’s birthdays without his presence. The last year has passed by so quickly, but the feelings of loss and grief still linger within us. This will never fade because missing Michael is now a way of life, and calls to mind all the reasons why we love him and what he means to each one of us personally. That is what is at the heart of this birthday video; recollections of a man who found his way into our hearts and changed us forever.

Many times I found myself smiling at the images moving across my computer screen as I tried to piece them together for the video, and I would drift on waves of memory. Michael was my first crush. I was 12 and didn’t particularly hold boys in any worth or importance, so when Michael burst into my world and I found myself entranced by his sweet smile and face, it really was a major event.

In my country there was only one television station at the time, so it was rare to see Michael and his brothers appearing on our screens very often. I spent most of my spare time tuned into the radio listening to “The Jackson 5” hits as they were released. There were some magazines around that covered stories on their success and contained large, colorful posters inside, but my mother would never agree to buy them for me no matter how much I begged, so when video clips from Michael’s “Off The Wall” album started to air on our TV’s, it had been awhile since I’d actually had a good look at him and he had grown; grown into a very good-looking young man. His style had also changed; the way he dressed, his moves, the songs combined, made everyone sit up and take notice, including me.

The shift from childhood crush and teenage adulation started, and when “Thriller” took the world by storm I felt the first stirrings of love. By the time Michael appeared be-decked in his signature black jacket, pants and boots, boasting dozens of silver buckles, badges and crests during his “Bad” era, my full-blown love affair with him began in earnest. Of course it was a very one-sided affair because Michael never knew who I was or that I existed, but hope floated through the years upon my dream that one day we would meet and live happily ever after. I couldn’t see at the time how Michael could become any the more beautiful to me than he already was, or that I could possibly love him more than I did. As time passed he not only grew in beauty, but also artistically, leaving me speechless in the face of each new song and video he released.

Many years later after emerging from what I call the “lost years”, I re-discovered the Michael I had lost contact with only to find it was too late. He was gone, and he had broken the hearts of his family, friends and fans. After reading and watching everything about him I had missed through those years, I finally understood the nature of what had always drawn me to him; what draws everyone to him. Transcending the physical, he was beautiful on a deep, pure and spiritual level. He touched the core of us; our very souls, and lifted us up, over and above ourselves to connect with his essence. This to me is what is at the very heart of Michael and our love for him; his giving spirit glowing with love, a spirit that drove him to excellence and generosity, a spirit that was battered and bruised, but endured to the very end and beyond. This is how I will remember Michael more than anything else. His gift to the world and to our lives will never be forgotten.

From our heart to yours; reaching out across the distance that lays between us, we wish you a happy birthday!

We Love You Michael!

Valmai Owens
Director of Publications

Creator/Editor of Fans In The Mirror

Patchwork Project Organizer, MJTP

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