Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Recently, I had the distinct pleasure to sit down with police detectives Alex and Lisa Mendez to discuss the latest chapter in their story, called Mourning Reign. I have to say I was excited to hear what they had to say and I believe the readers of In The Breath of God will be just as excited when they see, “first-hand” just what Lisa and Alex really think about their lives so far and where their story might lead.
Edward Hancock II: I want to thank you both for taking time out of your busy schedule to sit down and chat with me. I know it must be a huge sacrifice, trying to balance careers, family and, now, sudden stardom. I guess that leads me directly into my first question. How do you handle it all?
ALEX MENDEZ: *Looks at Lisa, who nods, speaking in some mental language apparently only they can understand* “For me I have to say it’s a lot easier thanks to Lisa. She’s the strong one. I couldn’t do this alone. Granted we have help from plenty of people. Danny, Alyson, my mother, just to name three. But Lisa is my rock. She is my partner. No matter who I’m in the field with… *Places his arm around Lisa* I only have one true partner.
LISA MENDEZ: *Blushes slightly, fights an embarrassed grin before composing herself* “I would have to disagree. I think we make a great team. Period. Where I am weak, Alex is strong and, I guess, vice versa. We work because we want to, plain and simple. Most people in our world are quick to turn and run to divorce court when things get hard. With Alex and Me – well with me anyway – it never crossed my mind. *she winks at Alex* And if I’m going to be honest, I don’t see us as stars. If anyone’s interested in our story, I’ll tell it. But I’m more interested in living than I am storytelling. I’m a storyteller when it’s Christina’s bedtime. That’s about it.
Edward Hancock II: Speaking of the Munchkin, how is she doing? Where is she today?
LM: She’s fine. She’s in school this morning. We dropped her off on our way to the interview.
EH: Must be hard to have a school age child in the house, huh?
AM: not as hard as having a baby in the house. Harder emotionally having a kindergartener I guess. My “baby girl” has grown up.
LM: Watch it, Pal! She ain’t grown up yet! *she nudges him with an elbow*
EH: Next question. What makes you two work? How did you know you were “the one”? Not many people know you were partners before you were married. What made you decide to take that next step?
LM: I guess it’s true. When you know, you just know.
AM: she drugged me. I swear, man. She drugged me *Lisa jabs him with an elbow* OW! *laughs* Look, it’s not difficult. We work because we love one another. We have our priorities straight. We both know on which side our bread is buttered.
LM: Okay, Dr. Phil.
AM: *Laughs* That’s Danny, not me. My point is that it’s really not a big secret. The day we got married, I ceased being Alex Mendez entirely. I surrendered “me” to “we”. And Lisa did the same. The key to a happy marriage? Recognize first and foremost it’s not about you. It’s about “us”. You can’t always get your way and if all you want is your way, do us all a favor. Stay single.
EH: So, I guess we should talk about Mourning Reign. Great title if I do say so myself. What can you tell me about this particular part of your story?
LM: Well, I can tell you I don’t want to re-live it. But, at the same time, I’d do it all over again.
EH: Care to give our readers a preview? A little taste of the plot maybe?
AM: Well, in short, some terrorists decided to come to Texas to try and start a fight. I had to send ‘em packin’
LM: You did, eh? All by your lonesome, Big Guy? *winks*
AM: Okay, so I had a little help. *smiles playfully*
AM: Okay, so I helped a little.
LM *whispers* better
AM: *ignoring her* Come to find out, small towns all across America are hit simultaneously by similar attacks. The game changer.
EH: Kind of like September 11, 2001, then?
LM: Sort of, yes. But very different in some ways. For one, they used third world tactics, not airplanes. For another, well, it just became more personal. I wasn’t in New York when the towers fell. I felt a somber sense of fear as an American, knowing I’d just watched my fellow Americans die, but honestly, it was a different feeling this time. This wasn’t some far off portion of the Mendez Kingdom. This was my home. They made it personal for me…for all of us. *pulls Lisa close*
EH: Sounds horrible!
LM: Well, it’s not the ideal way to bring a child into the world. That’s for sure.
EH: Ah, a great segue there, Lisa. When we left you at the end of In The Breath of God, clearly you were expecting your second child. So, what’s the word on the latest Mendez?
LM: *looks down, fidgets her hands nervously*
AM: Can we move on, please?
EH: Certainly. I’m sorry. I don’t wish to open any fresh wounds.
LM: *Biting her lip* *smiles at me reassuringly and nods*
AM: It’s just difficult sometimes. To think about the circumstances that brought him into this world. I’m sorry. Next question.
EH: So, Alex, at the end of In The Breath of God, you were retiring. Is that no longer the case? Can we expect two Mendez’s in the field again?
AM: I came out of retirement because I was needed. I’m still needed, I think. They did a lot of damage to small-town America. There are a lot of ashes waiting on the proverbial phoenix. Now’s not the time to sit on the sidelines and wait to be called. When I’m no longer needed, I’ll go back to the bench.
EH: What about you, Lisa?
LM: *stops biting her lip* I, uh, I really haven’t decided yet. I sort of promised I wouldn’t pin on a badge again, but…
EH: Clearly this was not an easy thing to go through. How was this different from In The Breath of God? For you, personally, I mean. The feel of it.
AM: Well, for me, it was different because I wasn’t the one in the hospital bed this time.
LM: For me, I guess, just the opposite. I was the one in the hospital. Helpless. And I still ache sometimes. Not sure when that goes away. *She pauses* I—honestly it was just very different. It’s one thing to stand in the presence of God. It’s kind of hard to top that sensation of joy, peace and love. But, honestly, this was an intimate, tactile connection. When you go from touching purest Goodness to literally touching pure Evil, well, it’s quite a shock to the system. I don’t know if you ever get over something like that.
AM: We get through it the way we get through everything else, Lisa. Together. Doesn’t really matter which side you’re on, I guess. Either way you’re pretty helpless, whether watching your loved one suffer or being the one in bed suffering. Helpless.
LM: That’s the one thing neither of us can stand to be. Helpless. There’s always an answer. There’s always a solution. “I can solve this.” But I think we’re both learning that sometimes it takes something else. A little help.
EH: You actually work closely with some federal agents in this one. How difficult was that, given the distrust between you and certain federal officers prior to Mourning Reign?
AM: Well, I have to say I think I made a pretty good friend in Moe. He’s my kind of guy. If I ever need help from a Fed again, you can bet he’ll be the one I call.
EH: So we’re likely to see more of him and Agent Parker?
AM: You really don’t realize who the writer is, do you? *Laughs*
EH: Okay, so you’ll have to indulge me here. My readers will kill me if I don’t ask the question. What can we expect in future Mendez adventures?
AM: I guess you’ll know when we do. Or maybe that’s the other way around. We’ll know when you do?
EH: But there will be future stories?
LM: Like I said, I’m a storyteller at Christina’s bedtime. We’ll leave the writing decision up to you. I think Alex and I both are just enjoying the opportunity to watch our children grow up. For as long as we are afforded the opportunity.
EH: So, what you’re saying, if I’m reading you correctly is… well, if I stopped writing—
LM: I’d haunt you till the day you died. *winks at me*
EH: I’ll be writing immediately after this interview is concluded! Alex, I must shift gears for just a moment. I get more letters about you than just about any other person. People want to know if you’re for real. They say men like you don’t exist in this world. So, what motivates you?
AM: *Looks at Lisa* She does. My family does. Love.
LM: And God.
AM: Yes, God. It’s very new to me – to us – so we’re still learning what all that means, but yes, I want to be a Godly man. Someone my family can be proud of.
LM: We couldn’t be prouder, Hero.
EH: I am sure my readers would echo that sentiment.
I want to thank Alex and Lisa for taking time out of their busy day to sit down with me. I’m sure there are tons more questions my readers would like answered, so please feel free to leave your question for Lisa or Alex. I’ll see to it that one of them answers it ASAP!
Thanks again and be sure to check out Mourning Reign when it comes out!!
Until next time this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.
Monday, 03 August 2009
Friends, Fans, Countrymen... lend me your eyes...
Wait, no. That's the wrong speech.
Okay. Here it is....
I've been holding on to this for a couple weeks now. Only my closest friends and loved ones found out before now...Okay so one or two others pulled it out of me. Most of you are just now finding this out.
It is with GREAT joy that I announce my book MOURNING REIGN has been purchased by AWOCBOOKS and will be published by the end of 2009!!!!
For those of you who are wondering what happens with the Mendez Family, your wait is nearly over!!!
I have to thank EVERYBODY who stood by me over the past couple of years. This has NOT been an easy road to bring this book into existence!
I'm not even going to bother trying to mention all the names. Invariably I'd forget somebody.
But, I would like to say that I truly hope my Granny is watching. I love you, Granny. And I know I'm not always perfect, but I'm doing my best to make you proud! Keep me in line. I know right where the tupperware switch is if you need it!
I'll give more details as I know them. For now, I just wanted to share the excitement with everyone!!!
Monday, 13 July 2009
It began with Mom and me driving in her Chevy Tahoe. I think we were going to Longview. We were on 300. I remember that much.
As we always do when we're driving, Mom and I were chatting away. All of the sudden, she slams on the brakes, bringing the car to an almost instantaneous halt. It was by a sheer miracle of God that the towering SUV didn't tumble end over end from the inertial forces at work against it.
"What the...?" was all I could get out, before gazing upon the sheet-white complexion that had washed over my mother's face.
"Look!" she said, pointing to the road in front of us.
I'm quite sure the color drained from my face as I, too, turned my gaze toward the road ahead.
She was bathed in light. I never understood that saying until that moment, but that's exactly what it was. The light didn't shine on her. It was all around her. It was part of her and she was part of it. The only way to explain it is that one did not exist apart from the other. The Light was Granny and Granny was The Light.
Her hair was in that famous "French Twist" which she loved so much for special occasions. She was dressed just the way she was on that fateful day in March when we said what was supposed to be our final goodbye for this life.
"Granny!" The word escaped my lips before it fully registered in my brain.
I don't know who started crying first, me or Mom, but I noticed we'd both begun to weep rather intensely as we both reached for our car doors.
"Mom! What the heck?" I said, as we both fumbled with door knobs that seemed to have lost their function. Looking at Granny again, I exclaimed, "She looks so beautiful!" And she did too. The light seemed to take on a shimmering countenance, as if billions of tiny fireflies now danced in celebration of Granny's brief return to our world.
Still fumbling with the doorknob, I let go a frustrated cry for help, before hearing one of the most beautiful sounds I've heard in a long time.
"Will you be quiet!" Anyone that knows Granny can hear her say that. Her quaint little Texas accent was just as strong. In fact, it was as strong as I'd ever heard it. The wasn't the granny of my 30's. This was the Granny of my youth. This was the face I looked into on the night the storm was calmed. This was the powerful voice that taught me everything I know about God. Everything that Granny was, is and ever shall be stood before me -- before us -- in the middle of what was usually the busiest section of 300. (Oddly, not a car was in sight in either direction.)
I'm sure it was mere seconds, a couple minutes at most. But Granny kept talking about how happy she was now. Several times, she told Mom and me that she was okay. She asked us to take care of Papa. (Okay, I started crying as I am writing that one... gimme a minute.)
"You're doing so good," she told my mom. "And I love you for all you did for me."
This is huge. My mom often claimed that Granny wasn't one to tell her she loved Mom. Now the boys? Oh they were her heart. Three sons and one daughter came from her loins, but Granny was definitely partial to the boys, or so I'm told.
"Edward, I'm so very proud of you." When she said that, my heart sank. I truly felt like I was going to vomit. Vomit or pass out. I wasn't sure. "God has something great for you, Son. Just hang in there a little longer. Granny's prayin' for ya."
Without warning, everything grew.... transparent? I can't really think of a different word. IT's like when you leave something in the sun too long and the color begins to fade from it. This is what began to happen to life all around me. The scene itself was still there, but the color seemed to be draining from everything.
Granny flashed bright and then slowly began to fade herself.
"Don't go!" I said, reaching out a hand, touching the windshield that stood between me and my beloved spirtiual mentor.
"I'm okay. Don't worry about me. I'm so happy here!" It may sound cliche' to say it echoed, but it did. As the last firefly concluded its impromptu celebration, Granny faded from view.
What was probably mere second later, I awoke in my bedroom, shaking, confused. Feeling not unlike that scared little boy, desperate for Granny to pray the storm away.
Was it real? No, it was a dream. But was it real? That, I can't say for sure.
What I know is, whether real or dream, I believe one thing is true. I believe that Granny is okay. I believe she's happy. And I believe that, more than anything, she'd want us all taking care of Grandpa. For all the boys that she may have loved in her life -- sons, brothers, cousins, grandchildren -- there was no boy like her "Paw." (Whom she also occasionally called "Daddy". Couples do that. As they get older, they become Mama and Daddy. It's how you separate the good marriages from the not-so-good ones.)
What does God have in store for me? And will it be a "little while" or a long while? I don't know. Granny always did have a way with prophecy. Almost as much as her gift of prayer.
But was it real?
It's strange. Not even sure if it's all that fitting, but I am reminded of the final lines of Wyatt Earp (The Costner version) where Wyatt remarks about a story just told about him, "Some people say it didn't happen that way."
"Never mind them, Wyatt," Josie commented. "It happened that way."
Maybe it did. Only Granny and God know for sure, and in the light of day, neither one of them are talkin'
Until Next Time, This blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by their buddy, number 2.
Friday, 03 July 2009
I want to start out with a very simple declaration. I am, by no means, a celebrity. I've never been invited to the Playboy Mansion. I can't remember ever attending a hollywood movie premiere. To my knowledge, Perez Hilton's never blogged about me -- though admittedly, I'd be just fine if THAT never occured.
Reality check. I'm a normal guy.
Probably 90 percent of the people I meet on a daily basis actually understand that fact. But there are those who, for lack of a better term, get "star struck" by the "famous writer, Edward Hancock II." (*laughs at the very notion* I swear, ya publish a book or two and people get this idea in their heads...)
In truth, I guess I'm no different than a truly "regular Joe." I meet all manner of people in my daily life. I meet people who want to help me become a better writer. I meet people who want to help me become a better man. I meet people who need my help. I meet people who don't know what they need or want, but just know that they think I'm cool. And then I meet people who want to (pardon my French) screw me over. They want to rob me of what they think I have and get so angry when they find out that I don't have 1/100th of what they think I have. They want to tear me down even as I am still laboring to ascend the mountain known as literary fame.
You get the greedy folks who stick by you as long as the money holds out, which isn't very long in my line of work, believe me! LOL
And of course, there's the tried and true folks. Those who knew me when I was just "Little Eddie in the sandbox with no legs." (Long story there... Just go with it.)
The list of people I truly trust is not short by any means. I've known Steve, Shannon and Angie for more than 30 years each. I've known others more than 20. I've bled for some, sweat for most. Cried for, over and with dang near all of them. But the list of new people I meet and come to fully trust is.... well, almost non-existent.
Fair? No. But it is reality. I am just not quick to trust anymore.
Reality check number 2. Not to be a celebrity, I have one of the biggest CELEBRITY COMPLEXES imaginable.
I have certain rules that I simply won't break. Those rules have deprived me of more than my share of would-be friends, but I can't change them. If somebody doesn't understand why I don't want to put my son's name and/or image on myspace, that's their problem, not mine. If somebody can't respect that 35 years of heartache is enough to damage anyone, well, so be it. Even with my meager "fame" I meet my share of leeches. I meet my fair share of people bent on my sadness and destruction every day. (I think the worst was when it came from my own family, but that's a story I don't feel like sharing.)
I'm a hard man to get to know. I'm a hard man to get close to. I don't like letting folks in because, more times than not, I get hurt. Let me just say this right now. I don't want to get hurt anymore. Will it happen? Yeah. A life without pain is a life unlived.
Still, I have to be cautious. I'm too old to just go throwing my heart out there for anyone who says they give a dang, but doesn't have the will power to back it up.
Make no bones about it, I'm 35. I'm old, cranky and untrusting. But once I let you in...
Ask anyone in my Myspace top 10. I'll die for you. I'll kill for you. I'll "Help you hide the bodies," so to speak. It takes hell getting in, but once you're in my heart, it's next to impossible to get out.
In 35 years, many haven't stuck around that long. A great multitude have parted company once the illusion gave way to reality. Most have simply been too short-sighted. They see the wall they must knock down to get inside...and aren't willing to put in the work.
Others have gone away, missed me and come back or simply lost touch and reconnected years later (Thanks to The internet!) These relationships are some of my most dear because in many cases I'd spent 10 years or more thinking about these people who'd taken a piece of my heart with them when Fate had forced us from one another's lives.
"If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it's meant to be."
I just asked one of my friends how she managed to get inside. I asked her what did she see in me that made her willing to do the work it took to get inside.
Her response? "I guess I never thought of it as work. Work is hard. Being your friend has always been easy."
(She is apparently sadistic, but that's a story for another blog! LOL)
In fairness, my situation has changed a bit since she and I became friends. I do have a son now, which makes it even harder to make friends. If we're friends, chances are you're going to be around him at some point. What kind of influence are you going to be on him?
Even if, as he recently suggested, he decides to give Kelly's new man a "real chance", I still love him and he's first and last in my heart. I love him enough to let him spread his wings, in the hope that the four winds will blow him back in my direction.
In my house, in my life or not, he's in my heart to stay.
Some might think that would only apply to the next woman I am dating. Understand that if he doesn't like her, she's gone. No questions asked.
But any wannabe friend that puts my son at risk will be gone just as quickly.
Is it worth the risk? Well, the payout is great. I'll never ask anything of you I'm not prepared to give myself. You show me you're willing to risk, I'll do my best to make dang sure your leap of faith does not end with you hitting the ground. I guess the larger question is not if the friendship is worth the risk but if I, Eddie Hancock, am worth it. Likewise, I must find myself asking are you worth it? What are you showing me that would make me trust you'll do for me as I will for you?
Reality check number 3. I kinda purposely saved this for last. It very likely could have gone first, but it's my most powerful point, so I saved it for last.
I love God more than my son.
I can feel people blanching at that statement, but I know at least 2 parents off the top of my head who are nodding, going "me too."
I love God as my Heavenly Father. Do I serve Him perfectly? No. I wish I did. But my desire is to serve God and not Man, period. I love my son, my family and my friends enough to labor to put God first -- though I am still learning to succeed more than I fail.
I serve by praying for (and with) my friends and loved ones. I serve by attending worship and praise service. I serve by listening. I serve by doing my best to put some sort of Godly message in my blogs. I serve through patiently waiting on God's time.
I serve Him in many ways too numerous to list here, but I serve Him first and foremost.
Not all of my friends have the same level of faith in a Christian God that I do. I have friends that are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, Buddhists... you name it, chances are I have a friend that is one.
So, how do I do that? How do I balance my faith in God with a flourishing friendship to Atheists? Simple. In a word, respect.
I'm passionate about my Christian beliefs and I blog about them. To date, I don't recall this friend replying to any Christian-themed blog, though admittedly I may be wrong on that. (I've been blogging since '05!)
I'm reasonably sure I have not commented on his atheist-themed blogs, though I have read a few of them.
We talk openly about our beliefs "in person" but we do not belittle one another or shove our agendas down each other's throats and we've been decent friends for going on 4 years now.
So, what's the key? How do you open the door to Eddie? Well, it takes a while for it to get truly all the way open so that you can come all the way in. But it's actually kind of easy.
Before Kelly left, she and I fought a lot. She was miserable. I was miserable. Then one day I was watching an episode of Joyce Meyer in which she recounted the story of the Prodigal Son. (Kelly was watching too.) But she recounted it rather uniquely. She recounted it from the perspective of the "other brother." The one that had been there the whole time, loyal and serving his father.
"How can you do this?" he thought of his father. "He's been gone and now that he's back you want to prepare a feast for him?! What about me?! I've been here!"
And so he probably sat outside and stewed the whole night. If he's like most siblings, he probably stewed for days and then went and peed in the guy's blankets just for good measure, but that's neither here nor there.
The point is the party was going on whether the other brother came in or not. He just chose to miss out.
As I sat there listening, a light bulb came on. I had become a dark person. I'd become a misery even unto myself. And so had Kelly.
(We can argue fault all day long. The point is that we were miserable and something needed to be done.)
Finally, I reached my breaking point. I told her "Look, we can't go on like this. We are both miserable and one of us has to stand up and say enough. From now on, I am throwing a party. The party's going to be at Pathway every Saturday night and it's going to be in this house every other day of the week. I'm throwing this party with or without you. A party to celebrate my return to God. If you want to attend, I am leaving the door open, but I am not going to sit outside and be miserable just because you don't want to come in."
Sadly, she chose misery over me, though it would take months to unravel.
I faced a choice. I could let myself unravel or I could continue to throw the party. (Honestly, try as I might, the "party" did take a bit of a hiatus for a while.)
The reality is many people aren't willing to drop fear, pride or anger long enough to come inside, wherever the party. Those aren't the kind of friend I want or need.
Like the saying goes, "Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option."
So, to all wouldbe friends, all I can say is go ahead and come to the party. There's no guest list, but there is a dress code. You have to come dressed in love, honesty, patience and understanding.
If you're willing to see it through to the end, the reward is only this. A friend like no other.
The door is open. And I'm the one in the corner, looking just a tad bit lost in the sea of faces, but having a great time nevertheless!
Until next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2, all of whom hope to see you there.
Monday, 29 June 2009
He was born with talent. He was bred for fame. He was groomed for fortune. And he would deliver...
Time after time, Michael Joseph Jackson, delivered entertainment to millions of adoring fans. Screaming teenage girls fell in love with Tiny Michael Jackson from the first moment he stepped on stage with his brothers. As if prophesying a song that was many years to come, fans came in all shapes, sizes, ages and, yes, color.
When "Little Michael" stepped on the stage with his fresh-faced older brothers, a world of magic was created unlike that formed by any other group of the era. If you grew up during this time, you'll likely agree, the Jackson 5 absolutely stole the show when they stepped on stage...And out front? Little Michael. The shy little baby of the performing Jacksons. The one with the chops. The one with the talent. The starry-eyed dreamer whose "star" would outshine all of his brothers put together.
Jackson's first solo effort came in 1980 with "Off The Wall," But it was his sophomore effort, Thriller, that would lend him the title "Prince of Pop." As album after album went multi-platinum, it was clear the prince had, in fact, become king...
To satisfy uneasy fans of Elvis "The King of Rock N Roll" Presley, Michael was eventually dubbed "King of Pop", a title he would earn more times than any of us can dare count.
His talent was obvious from a very young age. His determination grew as Little Michael matured from a boy into a man.
But, though his body matured, Jackson's mind mysteriously languished in a childhood lost during his decades on stage.
As the years moved on, Michael's performances remained the same, though his appearance seemed to change with every passing week. Suddenly, the child star we'd all grown up with had gotten just a tad bit eccentric for our tastes.
Though most fought to keep giving him the earned title "King of Pop", most of the press began referring to him as "Jacko" which ultimately lead to the nickname "Wacko Jacko". Sadly, that name would follow him, quite literally, to his grave.
How is it, some have asked that this:
or even THIS:
How is it the young boy from the picture at the top of this blog becomes the man in the shot immediately above these words? How is it the child becomes an accused pedophile?
Oh how the mighty KING hath fallen...
And the fans?
As with anyone else that the fans helped build up in the past, we gleefully joined the most heinous act of tearing this star right out of the sky.
I know, I know. This is where people chime in that he touched little boys.
Hey, I'll give you that. I won't debate it except to say that he was accused, but never convicted of anything. He paid off one boy for a reported 20 million dollars, but many in the "Hollywood" circles and those closest to Michael are saying that the young boy inside the man wanted nothing more than to make the whole thing go away. That, even possibly innocent, he paid the family off in order to avoid the stress of a trial.
Okay, let's use our common sense. That's about as logical as Rosie O'Donnell asking me out on a date. Fact is you don't pay off if you're innocent...
Or do you?
When you're tired, sad, depressed or just.... DONE.... well, you'll do just about anything to make the source of your stress disappear. When Kelly left, I was spent and I did just about anything I could to just let the thing end. I agreed to things I likely never would have if I'd had my full wits about me. Granted, I didn't give her 20 million bucks, but I gave up a lot more than I would have under different circumstances.
Is it not possible that Michael -- The very busy King of Pop -- just wanted to make the whole thing go away? Is it possible that the boy's family were nothing more than extortionists bent on robbing Michael of either his money or his dignity?
I didn't say that's how it was. I merely asked is it possible?
So many people died in the passing of Michael Jackson. The young tot who used to crawl across the floor, desperate to sing with his brothers even before he could speak. The fresh-faced pre-teen thrust into a spotlight too small to share with his kin. The eager dreamer, desperate to prove he's not just the front man of a talented group of siblings. The superstar, Prince of Pop and, yes, The King, Michael Jackson. Finally, the
one we called weirdo. The one we called "Wacko Jacko". The one we we helped drive to madness by our incessant desire to be in the presence of artistic greatness.
Ed McMahon died of old age. David Carradine died of a horrible accident. Farrah Fawcett died after fighting bravely against cancer...
But Michael? He died of something far worse.
Michael Joseph Jackson died of a broken heart. He died confused. He died too scared to show that he, too, was human. He died too afraid to ask for help. He died loyal to his fans.
Did he die a pedophile? I don't know. He may very well have. I concede that point without argument.
But a little boy died that day. One that no amount of fame, fortune or fans could help.
If we learn nothing from Michael Jackson's death, I pray we learn this. I pray we learn to celebrate what should be celebrated. Change what must be changed and help those who need help -- big or small, young or old and, yes, black or white.
I miss your music, Michael. Any sins you took with you are now between you and God.
Until next time, this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.