I miss him deeply. I miss his beautiful smile, his bone crushing hugs and his great sense of humor.
As we stand at the beginning of 2000, I cannot help but look back and remember the day forty years ago, when my parents arrived home with the little infant who would grow up and bring the world so much joy. I was very young and Michael was the first baby I would learn to take care of. We moved often and I was introverted, and loathed changing schools. Therefore as a baby, Michael became my closest confidante, my little friend who had no idea what I was talking on about. I could have a whole conversation and he would just look at me and giggle and frown and giggle some more.
By the time Rhett came along, I was a seasoned baby sitter and Michael was a toddler, old enough to fetch things for me as I wrestled with diapers and bottles for Rhett. He was still my little friend and while our parents were out we would turn up the music and play my top forty records and dance around pretending to be singing the words.
Michael gave us all so much pleasure as a child, and later, grew into a charming, witty, playful, intelligent adult. His calls from the road were always entertaining. He would call at any hour ready for a chat. At first he was just so thrilled that people liked his music and he was so humble about the reaction he was getting from the audience. Sometimes he would be lonely and just wanted to tell me about, the shows, and what his hopes and dreams were for the future. I loved it when INXS began touring in the United States.
Very early on, if I surprised him by showing up in a city while he was on tour we would share his hotel room and take in a movie or go shopping. Sometimes I met him in a foreign country for a few days and the first thing we would look for, is a good Indian restaurant.
Michael was a caring, loving brother. He had a big heart and wanted to please everyone. Unfortunately in his endeavor to make others happy, he relegated many of his own wants and needs to the ‘tomorrow’ list. The business of entertainment can be a tough, mean business, and Michael was not a tough person. Michael was a softy. He melted over sweet, sincere stories, he loved good literature and poetry and especially enjoyed spending time in the garden of his villa in the South of France, and driving us through the surrounding countryside.
He was a charming person. When Michael engaged you in conversation at a party, you felt that you were the only person in the room – and that is rare in a business and a climate and age where most people are looking around the room to see who might be more famous. He could make anyone, male or female feel that she/he was the most fascinating person he had ever met. That was his power, it was not a put on, he was genuinely interested in everybody he met. He had that special quality that made a room light up with his presence. I feel fortunate to have known him from day one.