The Way You Make Me…Heal?
The girl in the video makes good
Day 266, Week 38, Article 37
What do Naomi Campbell, Cheryl Crow, Iman, Lisa Marie Presley, and Britney Spears all have in common? They all came in the wake of Tatiana Yvonne (then known as Tatiana Thumbtzen) as love interests who played opposite the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Tatiana starred with Michael in his “coming of age” mega-hit film short, The Way You Make Me Feel (1988). In it, the Gloved One couldn’t wait to get his hands on her. Even though superstars and supermodels would come later, none of Michael’s videos or performances, made with the above stellar cast, outpaced the Billboard #1 hit, The Way You Make Me Feel.
But on September 3, 2009, the night that Michael Joseph Jackson was finally laid to rest, Tatiana Yvonne was made to feel anything but happy. However, little did she know that a hurt feeling then would turn into a productive healing now. But before we entertain this transition, Tatiana succinctly tells of the tragedy and trauma of that sobering, memorable night.
In Encino: “After inquiring about the possibility of paying my respects,” states Tatiana, “Mr. and Mrs. Jackson invited me to the funeral, and family friend Majestik was sent to pick me up. Fond memories stirred my emotions as we approached the house. It had been two decades! Unexpectedly, I lost it at the gate. It hurt so much. Majestik, said: ‘C’mon T, pull it together.’ We went inside. I didn’t see Katherine, who was upstairs, until the service. But Joe hugged me, after which family and friends sat together. There was an uncomfortable silence, which prompted Joe to say, ‘It’s too quiet in here!’ He then handed me the TV remote. ‘Oh, you handed it to the wrong person,’ I confessed. ‘I don’t know how to work these things!’ Everybody laughed. Suddenly, the phone rang. Joe answered, turned to Majestik, and said: ‘You have to go and do that Larry King piece.’ ‘Let’s go,’ Majestik ordered me. ‘You’re coming with us.'”
At CNN: Indeed, Tatiana was among the Jackson entourage I encountered at CNN’s Los Angeles’ bureau on Sunset in Hollywood. As I came off the Jane Velez-Mitchell show, I ran into Rev. Al Sharpton, the stunning actress Lisa Raye McCoy, and the Reverend’s entourage. Right after, I saw a teary-eyed, traumatized Tatiana. Although I didn’t recognize her at first, my heart truly went out to the petite-sized woman. Angel Howansky, Joe Jackson’s publicist, introduced us. Tatiana had a faraway look in her very sad eyes. I didn’t think our introduction registered. Surprisingly, it did.
Memorial Service: Tatiana continues: “I was overwhelmed by a flood of thoughts that ran through my mind as I sat at the service. At the same time, I was in a complete haze. It was heart-wrenching.” Her tremendous sadness was supplemented by the thought that, reportedly, Cory Feldman, Alphonso Riveiro, Margaret Maldonado (the mother of two of Jermaine’s sons), Rebbie Jackson, Michael’s bodyguards, and Mrs. Katherine Jackson herself, all said that the Gloved One was especially fond of Tatiana; talked about her regularly; and considered marrying her–even to the day he died. “Mrs. Jackson told me,” said Tatiana, “‘I know my son loved you. He had feelings for you. He told me this one morning.'”
Repast at the Restaurant: A pensive Tatiana said further: “I was also invited and went to the repast at a restaurant in Pasadena. It seemed that everyone was there. But my heart was still aching for Michael. I couldn’t really enjoy myself. Not for one moment.”Â
Back to Encino: A select few were invited back to the Encino compound, and, not surprisingly, Tatiana was among them. “I felt so sorry for Mrs. Jackson. Even though she tried to be strong for everyone, she was completely distraught.” As an artist, Tatiana thanked Michael’s parents by presenting a framed drawing of him, which they appreciatively placed in the Michael Jackson/Jackson 5 museum. Unexpectedly, she discovered doing for others was therapeutic.
Hope for Haiti: “Seeing a young Haitian boy emerge from the rubble with a broad smile inspired me to do something for the people of Haiti,” says Tatiana. “So I came up with a montage painting entitled ‘Hope for Haiti.’ When this and other items are purchased at www.myspace.com/tatianayvonne <http://www.myspace.com/tatianayvonne> or www.cafepress.com/tatianayvonne <http://www.cafepress.com/tatianayvonne> , 40% of the proceeds go to the Help for Haiti fund. I invite everyone to purchase something and help me help Haiti.”
Tatiana in Text?: In doing this Tatiana is imitating the spirit shown by a Christian woman in the Biblical text named Dorcas, who abounded in “good deeds and gifts of mercy,” including making clothes for certain ones in need. (Acts 9:36, 39; 1 Tim 5:18) Stay tuned for more on the Michael Jackson-Tatiana Yvonne Connection as we explore the chronicles of the King of Pop, and anxiously await justice to be dispensed.