It was June 25th, 2009. A beautiful day in Chicago. The clear blue sky was only outdone by the radiant sun that seemed to sit above it. My wife, Sherree, and I were with our two youngest children, Sloan, seven years old and Sterling, five years old. We were traveling back home to the south suburbs of Chicago after spending a beautiful sunny day at the Brookfield Zoo. After entering a ramp with a nearby sign that read “I-94e to I-57s,” I’d received a call on my cell phone. As I glanced at the caller id, I noticed it was my sister Colette calling. She had moved to San Francisco after living in Chicago for approximately ten years. Colette would often call to brag about how beautiful the weather was in the Golden State. For this call, I was prepared to share the details of the beautiful weather we were having in “Chitown.”
I answered the phone to hear Colette crying. “Michael passed away today.”
“What did you say?” I asked incredulously. Though I heard her, I found it difficult to believe what I was hearing. I never questioned which Michael she was referring to.
“Michael is gone…” she responded, followed by complete silence.
“Michael has died?” I said aloud. Sherree, who was sitting in the passenger seat next to me, stared at me in total shock. Her phone began to ring. A relative of hers was calling to share the same sad news I had received from Colette. Sherree then called several friends and family member to confirm the report. Some said they’d heard he’d been rushed to the hospital and was in critical condition. Others claimed that he had passed. Still in disbelief, I turned on my radio to hear the same news of Michael Jackson’s untimely and unfortunate death.