Melodies from Heaven

I'm feeling highly retrospective lately, and I'm saying a lot of prayers.

My work as a medical transcriptionist gives me insight into the personal situations of strangers, and the large number of people in trouble can be overwhelming. It's not unusual for MTs to say little prayers for these people we don't know as we transcribe their personal histories along with their health issues.

Like the elderly woman who was caring for her ailing husband and is now ill herself but is desperate to remain living independently at home rather than face nursing home placement for herself and her spouse. Like the young Iraq War veteran who suffered injuries in combat that threaten one of his limbs. Like the people who have lost jobs and health insurance and who end up hospitalized because they've cut back on their medications in an attempt to stretch them.

I have friends who are coping with job losses, dwindling (or exhausted) savings, or working at much lower salaries than what they are accustomed to, and the depression that can stem from the resultant stress.

Music has always been a great soothing mechanism for me, making any situation seem less desperate. The radio stations have been playing some great songs by Michael Jackson, a man whose problems are now over and who left a treasure trove of music behind for people to enjoy forever. Listening to these songs helps me forget about all the sad things I hear about every day about people I don't know, well-known or not. Today I heard a disturbing story about someone claiming to have proof that former politician John Edwards promised to marry his mistress as soon as his terminally ill wife, Elizabeth, passes away. Now, how is this supposed to make Elizabeth Edwards feel? The rumor mill is also working overtime relating to Michael Jackson's death, which in itself is probably surprising to no one, but the stories sound just plain vicious to me.

It's been reported that court papers filed by Michael's mother asking for permanent custody of his children, plus control of the money for their care, plus control of his estate. What judge in their right mind would even consider granting a 79-year-old woman permanent custody of two adolescent children plus a 7-year-old? And where exactly do Mrs. Jackson's priorities lie? What about burying her son? (I heard a news report that the family is waiting for "results" of the second autopsy, but since this can often take weeks, I'm presuming that was merely a poor choice of words).

So, I turn to the great music Michael left behind. I have two favorite Michael Jackson recordings, one from his years recording with his brothers, and one from his very first solo album in 1971, he was still young enough to hit those high notes . . . and both from the days when he had the good looks he was born with. Enjoy, and feel free to share your own favorite Michael Jackson tunes with us.

And please say a prayer for someone going through challenging times. There are so many . . . .

Never Can Say Goodbye, the Jackson Five

I Wanna Be Where You Are, Michael Jackson