While I was finishing up this evening at work, my boss yelled over the cubicle and said she had just looked at the CNN website and saw that both Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson had died today.
A wave of immediate sadness rippled through me as she told me that Farah Fawcett had succumb to her long term battle with cancer and Michael Jackson, a heart attack. How sad I felt for their families. Both of their families have, for different reasons and causes, dealt with so much pain and trauma over the last few years.
Then in rushed an onslaught of memories from my youth. I always find it amazing how idols from my past are so pinned to significant personal memories.
Like so many other girls my age in the 70's, I was a devoted fan of Farah Fawcett. I wanted her long legs, thin and perfect figure, smile, and hair. I WANTED TO BE HER. I secretly longed to own a bathing suit that, when on, magically turned me into a beauty that all men desired. I wished to be on a picture that boys wanted to hang on their wall. I remember walking around the Oak Ridge pool in my one piece red swimsuit, chubby thighs rubbing together, with limp, straight, fine dark hair, thinking and feeling, if only for a second, what it might be like to be that beautiful.
And Michael, well...I still twirl and feel energy when I hear his music. Even now, his music is on the playlist I listen to when I jog. His lyrics and funky beats have helped me more than once "Ease on Down the Road".
I silently wish to be able to have those dance moves. And I smile at the memory of my daughter's biodad moonwalking across the floor being silly. That move, although not that move alone, is part of the reason I am blessed with her!
I also immediately remember the long rides with the 4 boys I car pooled with in the two years I attended Roane State Community College. I was the only girl in a car full of boys. They teased me and refused to listen to the music, unless it was just me and ONE of them...because secretly they all liked the music and only shared that enjoyment when it was just two of us.
After those years, we dissolved and each went on to finish at different universities. I don't know where those guys are now, I've lost touch, but those memories form some of the happiest from my 18th and 19th year. Where are you now? Do you still smile when you think of the fun we had singing off tune and bouncing to the moves listening to Thriller or Beat It? I DO.
I now, only today, understand the misty looks my mom and dad would have when they learned that an idol from their youth had past.
Farewell to you both. You have lended a handed at shaping a significant part of our culture and without even knowing me, you carved and formed a bit of the person I am today.