By Zondra Hughes
June 25, 2009, I was in the Water Tower with colleagues shopping for a birthday watch for myself. Breaking news appeared on the television screen that Michael Jackson had a heart attack, and without warning, I just cried. Everything in me shut down.
I was in a state of shock because, like many of his fans around the world, Michael was this/close to his big comeback. This IS IT. I didn't understand the heart attack, and for some reason, I expected him to bounce back, to come back from those exaggerated reports of his death.
When I look back on that day, I realize that I was so upset because a big part of my childhood died with him.
See, I used to be a Michael Jackson impersonator at the tender age of 9. I had the Jherri Curl (well, really an oily afro, since my hair texture wouldn't take a curl), and I had the red leather Beat It jacket and the glitter glove. I won talent shows being Michael Jackson and moon walking; and yes, my moves would have put that hologram to shame!
Michael was my everything for several years. As I grew older, the crush faded (and I later had my eyes set on Wham! and George Michael; then Bruce Lee, and finally all the men in the family R&B group DeBarge.
After Michael's death, I have since reunited with his music, and ironically, 'Thriller' is in my CD player right now.
I never met Michael Jackson, but for many years his music made me the most popular kid in school.
And I still miss him dearly.