I had to let my beloved mj, michael, michael jackson go on Tuesday. We don’t really know what happened to him. Some awful infection riddled his poor little brain and damaged him beyond repair. We tried all kinds of things, even acupuncture, but it was time. Some of you regular readers of my blog might remember my New Years’ Eve post from Thailand–where we sent off paper lanterns with offerings to the universe, and that moment when Eli said to me, “Melanie, when you are ready you just let go.” He was so matter-of-fact, totally talking about the lantern, but for me, then and now, especially now, I found those words to be incredibly profound. It is possible to just let go when the time comes, and to feel the fear, the grief, the sadness, the relief, the whatever in that action. But ohmygod, how hard it is to do sometimes.
I wasn’t even sure I wanted him, I wanted his brother Oscar, but mj, well, I knew I need to get two cats and he seemed like a good one. It quickly became clear that he was my teammate and Oscar was Doug’s. Here’s my little goodbye letter to him, my honey honey.
mj, honey, do you remember how you would cuddle with me at night, sometimes even nestling yourself in my arm and sleeping with your head on my shoulder? I don’t think too many nights went by without you either sleeping between my legs, on my back or somewhere nestled near my head.
I’d say to you, “c’mon, let’s go” and you would follow me up the stairs and wait for me to get into bed and then you would take your place on my chest while I read until it was time for me to turn over onto my belly and you would then take up your other positions.
Or, do you remember how you’d come into my studio and jump up onto my lap and help me do my work? You liked to do that. I missed you today as I made this collage of you while listening to your namesake serenade me. Sometimes it was a toss up, what did you like more, hunting mice or helping me?
One of your favorite things to do was to perch on people’s shoulders. You could spend hours like that, watching the world from above, rubbing your head against mine or whomever was serving as your perch. You really had us trained!
And how I would torture you with kisses! And how I encouraged everyone to love you that way. You were always so good–so willing to let us hold you and kiss you and pet you. I know I called you a love whore sometimes, but I meant it in the best possible way. You knew how to give love and to be loved. And you were indiscriminate. You loved everyone. You loved being the center of attention. But you also knew how to be cozy and quiet when the time was right.
Do you remember the time you got out on the roof? I still don’t know how you managed that one. You were so sneaky. How you would lurk by the patio door, or the door to Martin’s room, waiting for the right human who didn’t notice you so you could try to get outside. You did one time, didn’t you? I was so distraught. Thank goodness Doug heard you crying outside the window later and rescued you. While that didn’t really deter you from wanting to go outside, you definitely were a little more cautious after that point.
But you got your exercise and your share of hunting right in our home. Thank you for all of those mice you managed to both devour and keep away. You earned your keep for sure!
I know I got mad at you for the countless sweaters of mine that you decided looked better with various holes in them. Oh and all of those headphones, especially new ones that you could find even in the best hiding place. But we figured out how to minimize that, didn’t we! I still had to watch out for you and your sneaky desires to eat clothes, plastic bags, headphones and cardboard boxes–you loved to be tricky!
I loved coming home and seeing you spooning with your brother. You two loved each other so much. He really took on the role of big brother sometimes, keeping you in his arms, cleaning you, loving you.
You had me so trained. It pained me how you would sometimes sit at the door when I went to the other side of the house, or left for work, and you would sit and wait. Just wait for me. Oh how I loved you.
Oh how I loved you. Thank you michael, mj, for everything. You taught me a different kind of love, a love I didn’t know before. Thank you for all we shared these past few years. Your life was way too short, way to brief. I loved you. I love you.