Candy Spelling: I can't stop thinking about Michael Jackson and his children. We know so little about their lives together. I'd like to think they had a great life when they were in private. I'd prefer to imagine they were like other American families who have 12, 11, and seven-year-olds, learning and enjoying things together, alternating between video games, their computers, iPods, texting, and television, competing for their dads' time, and not quite understanding what their father did for a living.
Of course, only a few other families can come close to experiencing what life is like to have the cameras and onlookers and made-up scenarios and stories as facts of life. And Michael was a man for whom words like "superstar" and "celebrity" and "icon" don't do justice. And, just as Michael was so delicate, he never mastered that delicate balance of his shyness and celebrity, assignments only the Pitt-Jolies, Madonna, or the Obamas could ever begin to imagine.
I knew about Michael's sweetness. He and my late husband almost made a movie together, but it didn't materialize. Michael told us he liked Aaron's "The Love Boat" because every show ended with not one, but three happy endings. He liked "The Mod Squad" because good won out, even if the victory came in unconventional ways. He liked the title, "Fantasy Island," and thought he'd find his own some day.
If "Fantasy Island" were still around, I'd go there in a second today and ask for three wishes for Michael and his family:
1. That Michael could see the world's response to his passing.
I don't think he had any idea that other people knew his impact on the world and our cultures. He certainly didn't know how much people loved him.
2. That I could have been there the first time Michael played "Heal the World" for his own children. He wrote the song five years before his first son was born, but I hope and pray they all heard his words, including the following, in their father's presence:
Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me and the entire human race.
And the dream we were conceived in
Will reveal a joyful face
And the world we once believed in
Will shine again in grace.
3. And finally, I wish Michael's children could have been at the recording of "We Are the World" in 1985. I will never forget the experience of hearing the song for the first time and then seeing the video. That song changed the world. I hope his children know it. We should also remember and honor what Michael and Lionel Richie wrote:
We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let's start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
It's true we'll make a better day
Just you and me.
"Fantasy Island" was my husband's show, so I'm going to ask for a fourth wish, too. I hope you'll read the lyrics or listen to "Heal the World" and "We Are the World" and share the messages with your own children.
That's what Michael's legacy can be.
|Candy Spelling, author of "Stories from Candyland," had a 50-year hiatus from writing. In 2007, Candy was asked to start blogging ... and has been writing ever since. Candy added "proud grandmother" of Liam Aaron McDermott, born in 2007, and Stella Doreen, born in 2008, to her list of life's special treasures.|