by Marina & Henri Van Asten (TMC/MJFC Belgium)
TMC (MJFC Belgium) was working with others to organize Michael's Birthday Party in LA. My husband and I never travelled that far, but looking forward to do this together with the team. In L.A. we met other teams and could finally see the faces that go with the names.
Later we received a ‘Thank you’ from Michael, with invitation to visit Neverland. That was already special to us. We were just 25 years married, how exceptional to celebrate it at such a place. What I remember most was the feeling I got standing by the gate. When it opens, you step into another world. You are closed in, still with the sky above you, and feel very safe.
In 1996 we had to give our only daughter, Jessica (see image on the right), back to God. Every time Michael is near, with a concert or so, he brings her back close to me. He is one of the very few people who can do this. It is because she shared with Michael the love for the world, the animals and the children. I did not expect to feel it otherwise, but it felt so good to have her with me, to be able to experience it again.
The 3 of us, Jessica in our hearts, stepped into Neverland.
Two small (!) animals stood at the entrance. A baby elephant and snake were introduced to us. Animals have a real home there. I saw the stables and it was just diner time for them. All was super organized, I remember the vegetables cut in perfect way. I like visiting a real animal lover, mostly they are also very kind to people.
I was deeply touched to see the train station, especially since Michael dedicates it to his mother. We were invited for a pick-nick. Everything was set outside between the shadows of the trees and all could find their selection in the buffet. Just to relax and enjoy. There is no must in Neverland and so much is possible. Just going into the theatre and get coffee and candies. Michael surely spoiled his guests.
He offered us the chance to know more of his life, around his house, his home where he lives with his children. I was allowed, with all respect towards his privacy, to get to know the real Michael a bit more.
Michael, I do hope you will find the courage one day to share this with others to be with them at the same time in Neverland. To enjoy and to share together. And that others will give you the chance to do this, to be yourself, without anyone asking something else of you. That is what I wish for you!
I felt welcome as a guest. It can’t really describe the wonderful spirit, there are no words for that. But I do know I will never feel it again. Not even if I ever was invited back to Neverland.
Since it was unique to me and I will treasure it always in my heart. I’m so happy I could share this with my husband, and all our friends. And of course with the loved one in my heart.
Thank you, Michael!!!