Michael Williams has had an interesting life. With his silky smooth singing voice he has toured the world under the stage name of Moon Williams and worked with some of the Motown greats; Marvin Gaye, the Three Degrees, Stevie Wonder Ben E King, Hot Chocolate and KC and the Sunshine Band.
We were lucky enough to have Moon come in to sing for us in the Summer. It was a special performance, playing to much smaller crowds than usual but even more heartfelt than any of the others as this is where his adored wife Jacqui spent the last month of her life.
When Moon was 16 he left school and didn’t know what he wanted to do so he became an electrician’s mate, working for a guy called Eric. He enjoyed it, but six months later he was offered the chance to support Ben E King on tour with his band. He couldn’t miss this opportunity so off he went to start his singing adventure. Four months later and he was back when he bumped into Eric again. Eric introduced Moon to his daughter Jacqui and they became really good friends. Moon had a contract with the Marquee in Wardour Street, one of the most popular venues back in the day and Jacqui also got a job there. Their friendship turned to love and they were married. They had great times together, meeting some of the most famous bands of the day and Moon continued to tour.
They had two children together and on both occasions Moon was away and each time he rushed back to be with Jacqui for the births of his children, Ella and Clark.
In 1986 he stopped touring, he wanted to be there for Jacqui and the kids and they bought a video shop which they ran for 10 years. It was like a community centre, people would drop in for coffee and a chat. They made a decent living but then along came Blockbusters and they decided to call it a day.
Moon went back to his music and explored new genres, even having a number one hit in Denmark with a house and garage track called “Help”.
Life was good with four grandchildren coming along until in 2015 Jacqui was diagnosed with bowel cancer. They were in Florida on holiday and for three days Jacqui was really sick. They thought it was IBS or food poisoning and the pain eased off for a while. By Christmas she was in a lot of pain and had a series of tests to try and discover the cause of the pain. She had a hernia which was masking the bowel cancer and by the time they found it, it had spread to her kidneys. Moon decided to take a year off to look after her.
Jacqui was given 100 hours of chemotherapy but unfortunately it didn’t work. Her experience in hospital wasn’t the best, she caught c-diff and was very unwell. It was suggested that she come to St Joseph’s for some respite care. Moon picks up the story here.
“From the second Jacqui arrived at St Joseph’s Hospice she was a different person. She really perked up and felt great because of where she was. The staff were fantastic with her, and with us. Jacqui felt so safe and serene here, you could see it in her face. She was completely relaxed because of the exceptional care she was given and at ease with everyone around her.
Jacqui had bought me an early Christmas present, a new sound system and she told me to go and pick it up and go home and work out how to use it, she knows I love messing around with technology.
As I left that day she was sleeping so I gave her a kiss and wrote a little note on a napkin and laid it on her chest it said, “See you in the morning sleepy head”.
At four in the morning Ella called to say that we needed to get to the hospice. My son lives round the corner so he ran from his home and Ella came to pick me up and we rushed to the hospice. When we got there Clark told me that we were too late. Clark was holding her hand when she died. He is devastated to be without his mum but in time he will come to appreciate that he was so lucky to get to spend those final moments with her.
“I am heartbroken and there are days when I don’t want to do anything but I know Jacqui would kick me up the backside and tell me to get on with my life and live it. I have four lovely grandchildren and two amazing children so I am lucky, but I miss her every day.
“I will be back at St Joseph’s to perform live at the Winter Knees up on 16th December and I have recorded an album which I am selling with all the proceeds going to the hospice. It’s the least I can do for giving my Jacqui the most special care when she needed it most.”
See Moon performing live at our Winter Knees up on Saturday 16th December. For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.