As I shared in my last blog, From Minnesota to Michael… & Back to Minnesota, Part 1, the experience with my family was profound. In letting my down guard and revealing to them my own current inner struggles in regard to the Michael Jackson story of my life, it allowed me to be open to receiving the unexpected strength and support I needed the most in that moment. In essence, they all became a deeper part of my soul and a more significant part of this “Michael story,” for whatever reason and whatever is meant to be. Amazingly enough, the adventure only continues as I am forever curious as to what Michael has up his sleeve on a journey that has now spanned over 30 years and only seems to get more intriguing. With my family so “there” for me, I, humbly and gratefully, could feel my power and perspective coming back to where it needed to be and I felt an incredible sense of peace.

The very next day, Saturday, July 25, I relaxed and just took in the energy of being in my home state and absorbed it all to the fullest. That night, I went to an old high school friend’s home on a lake for a gathering of a few other high school classmates, some that I hadn’t seen since in 28 years (Rocori’s class of ’87! Yeah!)! What an amazing experience that was to come together after all of this time and truly connect with these people who I grew up with. They knew me when… :)

High school friends enjoying each other's company after 28 years!

High school friends enjoying each other’s company after 28 years!

Interestingly enough, there was another big thing happening near my hometown that night. It was an annual fundraiser for the local fire department called Firefest (http://www.firefestmn.com), an outdoor country music concert featuring various performers. Because Minnesota summers don’t last that long, everyone and their mother (well, not quite :) ) heads to these outdoor type concerts, including my cousins and a few of my aunts and uncles. This particular event has been going on for nearly 10 years and my cousin Jamie had been in attendance for almost everyone of them; this time was no different.

So while I was laughing and catching up with friends on a beautiful summer evening at the lake, several of my relatives were jamming to country music just a few miles down the road. At about 8 o’clock in the evening I got a fun little text from Jamie. It said, “You are not going to believe what just happened here. Unreal!”

With obvious curiosity, I texted him back asking what he was referring to. All he wrote was, “MJ. Surreal. Will share with you in the morning.”

Hmmm, I wondered what that was all about as I carried on visiting.

With all of the stimulation of reconnecting with old friends, my family, and just embracing the beautiful summer energy of Minnesota, I forgot about Jamie’s text until the next morning when he and his wife Sheri, along with my aunt Shirl and uncle Mudis and myself were enjoying breakfast in the backyard having light-hearted conversation about who knows what. That’s when Jamie felt the moment was right to share his story from the night before.

Oh yeah! I almost forgot! Yes, tell us, please!

Breakfast in Mudis & Shirl's backyard with Jamie & Sheri on a beautiful Sunday morning  :)

Breakfast in Mudis & Shirl’s backyard with Jamie & Sheri on a beautiful Sunday morning :)

With that, Jamie began explaining the history of Firefest, how many years it’s been taking place, as well as the fact that he had attended nearly every single one of them and knew what to expect: good ole country music on a hot and humid evening in central Minnesota. In this particular year, the line up was Neal McCoy, Clay Walker, and Chris Young, with the headlining act as Darius Rucker, the former lead singer for Hootie & the Blowfish — a pretty big deal for that small town area.

Jamie said Neal McCoy started the show playing his hit songs with the crowd singing along, dancing and having a good time; it was a summer country music fest at its best. And that is when something totally unforeseen and unusual happened. Neal took a moment to pause and chat with the crowd and share how he loved Michael Jackson. What?! And then proceeded to say that he wanted to play a song of Michael’s and wanted everyone to sing along.

According to Jamie, my family looked at each other like, you have got to be kidding! What did he just say?! Did he just mention Michael Jackson? And that he wanted to play one of Michael’s songs and wanted everyone to sing along? At a country music concert? In central Minnesota? In my home town area? Huh?

In Los Angeles, it would’ve seemed more feasible. I don’t know why, it just would’ve. But in Cold Spring, Minnesota? Country music central? At this particular Firefest? Just after I had shared everything with my family the night before of what I was going through in the last few months?

And with that, he performed “Man in the Mirror.” This had never happened before! Michael Jackson? Man in the Mirror? Jamie said it was surreal. My family was in disbelief. How could that possibly be? And yet there they were, at their hometown Firefest country music festival, listening to and singing “Man in the Mirror” with Neal McCoy. They said it felt like Michael was speaking directly to them, thanking them for being there for me at this time when I needed my strength and support the most. As Jamie put it, it was almost like Michael was trying to figure out how to speak directly to them and let them know how appreciative he was of their support for me and how important their role is in this collective mission of healing the world.

Obviously, Michael knows his “vessels” to get his message across when need be, even in the most unforeseen circumstances. Coincidental timing or just another magical Michael synchronicity? Jamie said he and Sheri and my aunts and uncles all sang along in constant chills. No random circumstances here. Michael was talking to them.

In getting totally consumed by the moment, Jamie said he almost forgot that he should be recording this! When he finally remembered, he was able to get the last part… just enough to capture that incredible moment (please forgive the quality of the video):

When Jamie shared that video with us at breakfast that morning, we all just sat there in silence with tears in our eyes; it was hard to believe. I mean, really…  seriously? When the video was over, it was like we all did one collective sigh and looked at each other. There simply were no words…

After a quiet pause that allowed us all to breathe it in and feel Michael’s presence, Jamie continued his story. There was more? Yes, there was more.

He said after the song, he felt compelled to find Neal McCoy and ask him why on earth he sang that song on that night, so he weaved his way through the crowd to find Neal signing autographs at a table. Unfortunately the security guard there informed him that the line had closed; no one else was allowed in. He could hardly believe he had just missed the cut off time but felt he had to get in there somehow. Right at that moment, out of nowhere, was a local policeman that Jamie knew from high school. His name was Eric. What were the chances? He told Eric of his cousin, Lisa, who had written this book about Michael Jackson and pleaded that if there was any chance he could let him in line to talk to Neal, he would be forever grateful. Eric looked around, and then subtly nodded as he lifted the rope and let Jamie in — the last person allowed.

When Jamie got to the table, he introduced himself and complimented Neal on a great set of songs, followed by, “I have to ask…  Michael Jackson?  Why Michael Jackson? Just curious.” Neal smiled back saying that Michael was an inspiration to him and that every once in awhile he felt “called” to sing “Man in the Mirror”…  and that night happened to be one of those moments. With that, Jamie had him autograph his hat.

Right at that moment, as Jamie finished his breakfast story about Michael’s “appearance” at Cold Spring’s 2015 Firefest that night, he took off his hat, showed me the autograph, “To Lisa… ‘Michael Jackson’… Neal McCoy” and placed it on my head.  “It’s yours,” he said with a smile.

Jamie's gift to me... an autographed hat from Neal McCoy...  Michael's appointed Messenger. :)

Jamie’s gift to me… an autographed hat from Neal McCoy… Michael’s appointed Messenger. :)

:)

Wow. No one could deny that Michael had certainly made a significant and undeniable trip to central Minnesota. That we both did together, I guess.

Sigh…

I got it. It all had become very clear to me what this trip was about. Michael most definitely needed me to come home to my roots, to remember who I was when this whole story began so long ago… when I was just a horse back riding teenager in the ’80s who happened to like Michael Jackson just like the rest of the world.

On my last evening in Minnesota, I took the kayak out on the lake that I grew up on. It was about 8 in evening and the lake was like glass. It was just me and the loons. I paddled around in the peacefulness of the summer evening reflecting on so many memories from childhood, one flash after another. I could feel myself smiling and sometimes even laughing to myself as I paddled. Oh, I remembered fishing with my friend, Monica. I chuckled as I “saw” me and my neighborhood friends riding our bikes off their dock! Ha! Who’s bright idea was that? Bikes don’t swim very well! :)

My lake...

My lake…

As I made my way to the property where I grew up on, I could see myself along with my brother, my cousins, and my friends running through those ever so familiar oak trees. I remembered the fort me and Monica built from my dad’s scrap wood. I remembered Little Miss grazing on that land… so many years ago. And as I noticed the dock and boat landing on our shore — a long pathway made through the cat tails — I could clearly remember the work and difficult process it was for our family to clear that path. The people living their now had no idea of what it took to do that; they just got to now enjoy the fruits of my family’s labor from many years ago.

As the moon rose and began to reflect on my beloved glass-like lake, I remembered those days… and more importantly, I remembered who I was when it all began so long ago. The trees, the land, and that lake were my witnesses and I could feel their deeply anchoring strength and support too. Wow. It was all there… reminding my soul of what was real, of what I was here to be and do. Of where I was to go from here. I remembered clearly of when I was a kid and I could feel that I wanted to help the world in some way. Never did I imagine what or how that would look. I had no idea what journey awaited me, but as I was sitting there in the kayak on my lake, it all was coming together.

The house I grew up in... that my mom and dad built by hand. My home.

The house I grew up in… that my mom and dad built by hand. My home.

As I walked into the airport in Minnesota the following evening, I looked out at the sun setting over the plane I was about to board and it like felt the energy of the whole state was sending me off into the world once again, just like it did 26 years ago when I first moved to California… ready to fly.

From Minnesota to Michael… and back to Minnesota… Life had come full circle.

The Man in Our Mirror...

The Man in Our Mirror…

With love, magic and miracles…

Lisa

Author, Michael Jackson: The Man in Our Mirror, A Reflection of Our Collective Soul

Book website: www.maninourmirror.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Jackson-Mirror-Reflection-Collective/dp/0991492706