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After 25 Years, John Lennon Lives On

25 years ago, on December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed outside his apartment building on the upper West Side of New York. I heard about it that night from Howard Cossell while in bed watching Monday Night Football. He interrupted the program to announce that "an unspeakable tragedy had occurred in New York City."

I was nine months and three weeks pregnant, and had just returned from the hospital where they tried to induce labor and it failed, so they sent me home. The minute Cossell said John Lennon had been shot, I heard a loud pop. My water finally broke, I rushed to the hospital, and just a few hours later, the TL kid was born. I tell more about the events of that night here, and how for the past 25 years, I have told the TL kid that when John Lennon's spirit left his body, it went straight to his.

John Lennon has been a spiritual member of our family ever since then. From listening to his music, discussing his life, and at least once a year in New York traveling through the sidewalk art shows to pick up memorabilia of John that resonated with one or both of us. It's a heavy day, followed by a day of celebration.

I'm not sure which I'm more amazed at tonight, that John Lennon has been dead 25 years, or that the TL kid is 25 years old. I would love it if he were only five again. Needless to say, it's become a ritual that we reminisce about John Lennon on this night every year.

Last week, Newsweek took a long look back, particularly at the effect of his death on Yoko and his former wife Cynthia, and their respective sons with John, Sean and Julian. It's a sad article. This comment by Yoko struck me most:

"You know, this is like a Shakespearean drama almost," says Ono. "Each person has something to be totally miserable about because of the way they were put into this play.

To Yoko, Sean, Julian and Cynthia: There are millions of people in this world whose lives were enriched by John Lennon, his persona and his music. He told his truth and it was the truth of an entire generation. His death was a tragedy, but his life was an inspiration. His legacy is timeless. I hope someday soon you can focus on his life instead of his death and that the memories of your time together bring you great joy.

From Jeralyn and the TL kid.

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  • Re: After 25 Years, John Lennon Lives On (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:46 PM EST
    Yep, Howard Fricken' Cosell on Monday Night Football. I'll never forget that. He started pontificating about how "this is only a game and there's a real world out there". I began thinking that this is a very strange rant, even for Howard. Then he goes on to say that John Lennon had been reported killed in New York City moments ago. That news, combined with the gathering doom of the Ronald Reagan administration, made the next few weeks the bleakest, coldest, most forboding winter ever.

    Re: After 25 Years, John Lennon Lives On (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:46 PM EST
    "In 1980, after John Lennon was murdered, a monument to him spontaneously appeared in Prague and the anniversary of his death was marked by an annual procession for peace and democracy. In 1988, the organizers founded a Lennon Peace Club that demanded the removal of Soviet troops. Lennon trumped Lenin. ...even in Iran, where the ruling mullahs describe America as "the great Satan," the young want to watch American videos in the privacy of their homes. Polls in the Muslim world show that American culture remains attractive to the moderate majority. It is American policies that have led to America's unpopularity. For a start, Bush could learn to get out of the way and encourage more popular and grassroots contacts."
    Thank you, John... for your soft power.

    Re: After 25 Years, John Lennon Lives On (none / 0) (#3)
    by The Heretik on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:46 PM EST
    Sweetly said. And felt. Linked you on this at What I Learned from John Lennon

    Re: After 25 Years, John Lennon Lives On (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:47 PM EST
    I have told the TL kid that when John Lennon's spirit left his body, it went straight to his. Jeralyn, Has the kid ever asked what would have happened to him had John Lennon not been killed that night? Has he ever asked if he would have been born without a spirit in that case? Just wondering what kind of questions that would create in a person's mind, especially at a young age.

    Re: After 25 Years, John Lennon Lives On (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:47 PM EST
    A very nice post. I'm glad to see there are others who have found a greater connection to their kids thru John. I'm sure he would be pleased.

    Re: After 25 Years, John Lennon Lives On (none / 0) (#8)
    by The Heretik on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:48 PM EST
    Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup, They slither while they pass, they slip away across the universe Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my open mind, Possessing and caressing me. Jai guru deva om Nothing's gonna change my world, Nothing's gonna change my world. Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes, They call me on and on across the universe, Thoughts meander like a restless wind inside a letter box they Tumble blindly as they make their way Across the universe Jai guru deva om Nothing's gonna change my world, Nothing's gonna change my world. Sounds of laughter shades of earth are ringing Through my open views inciting and inviting me Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns, it calls me on and on Across the universe Jai guru deva om Nothing's gonna change my world, Nothing's gonna change my world.