Lucky Man: a memoir by Michael J. Fox
I was a basketball kid.
When I heard about HIV announcement by Magic Johnson, I was just starting to follow NBA.
I studied his career, and soon I became a huge fan. I bought his videotapes (remember VHS?), and tried to steal his move.
(My love for English language started around that time. In the beginning, I just wanted to understand what Magic Johnson was saying in those videos. I had all imported ones without subtitle.)
My first English book I read was his memoir, My Life.
I was surprised how frank he was about his “behavior” eventually leading to HIV announcement.
I am not sure if it was something Magic said in that book, or purely my imagination, but I couldn’t help wondering if HIV was given to him by God.
Pre-Magic time, most people had false idea about HIV and AIDS. Few knew difference between HIV and AIDS. Most thought HIV is only for gay.
It was such a tragedy for Magic himself, but it turned out to be good thing for the rest of us. Thanks to him, we now have much better understanding of HIV and AIDS.
When I heard about Michael J. Fox and his Parkinson’s Disease, the exact same thought came to my mind.
God appointed this guy to change how people think about that disease. To change the world!
I didn’t literally believe that, but considering how he actually made the difference later, maybe it was not such a crazy thought. (in fact, one PD holder mentioned in this book that his reaction to Fox’s coming-out was “Thank God.”)
This book was a quite humorous book, which is amazing considering the theme. He is a first-rate comedian.
It was really interesting to learn how he had to manage his time to shoot Family Ties and Back to the Future together.
I’d be picked up from finishing a full day’s rehearsal on Family Ties and driven out to Pomona, where, at approximately 2:00 A.M., I would record my first shot of the picture. Encased in Guess jeans and a life-jackety-looking down vest and gripping a camcorder, I’d straddle one of two flaming tire tracks in an otherwise wet shopping mall parking lot and sputter, “You built a time machine out of a DeLorean?”
I loved his performance in Back to the Future series, but now I like him more for his attitude toward life.
So, what was I supposed to do now? I rose, brushed the sand off the back of my legs, and started to make my way back toward my wife and sleeping children. The answer was clear. After all that I’d been through, after all that I’d learned and all that I’d been given, I was going to do what I had been doing every day for the last few years now: just show up and do the best that I could with whatever lay in front of me.
This helped me to see the disease itself as a fact apart from my own experience with it. I was not an anomaly. All this was happening to others, too. And while I gained no particular satisfaction from that, it did help me understand that it wasn’t personal.
Ultimately, though, going public would be the truest test yet of a philosophy I’d been growing into over the course of the past seven years in the wilderness. Take the action and let go of the results.