I have wanted to write a post about Whitney Houston since I first heard of her death. I just haven’t felt that I had the right words to do it justice. I still can’t believe she is gone. I was so surprised to hear the news the day she died. It’s one of those days that I will never forget. I think I will always remember hearing the words, “Whitney Houston died!” It was unbelievably sad to me. I absolutely loved her voice and music. I have owned every single CD she ever made (thanks to my mama, who was a fan as well and would always buy me the latest Whitney CD for a birthday, Christmas, or even Easter gift). I deeply admired Ms. Houston’s faith in God and strong roots that began in the church choir. And, of course, like most, I loved how much she loved her daughter, Bobbi Kristina. I can't even begin to imagine what she must be feeling. To everyone else, Whitney Houston was an icon, but for her daughter, she was her heart - the being that gave her life....gone in such a tragic way - too soon. It's incredibly sad.
I can recall when Michael Jackson died and how sad that seemed. I was glued to the television in fascination with this man’s life and how it came to an end. My reaction to Whitney Houston’s death was different for me, though. Michael Jackson was so eccentric and was such a mystery to the public. He wasn’t someone who seemed to let people in his world. He kept his bizarre personal life to the obscurity of the tabloids.
Whitney Houston was different. She was America’s sweetheart. She stood for strength and the American dream – not just for singers and entertainers, but for African Americans as well - and especially for African American women. She proved that no matter where you come from or what color you are, if you are blessed with God given talent, a dream, and unwavering faith, you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to do. She also seemed so down to Earth, in comparison to Michael Jackson and other mega stars, that I believe people felt they could relate to her somehow.
Whitney Houston is someone who was also able to touch the lives of millions, regardless of age or color. She was someone whom I believe people around the world really felt they could relate to. She had this HUGE talent and voice, but she seemed so grounded in who she really was to the core. Even through struggles with drug abuse, she never faltered in her strong faith and belief that God would be there to guide her. She also never lost touch of the fact that her mother and daughter were the two most important people in her life. Even in the midst of her battle with drugs, we saw her mother standing on stage to support her.
And through it all, we never saw her lose sight of the fact that she was a mother herself, which was something she cherished. I think that’s truly part of what made people love her. She was a real person with real problems, but she was also someone who never seemed to forget where she came from and what was most important in her life.
I’m sure that anyone who really knew her personally felt that was true. I found it touching to hear so many people who spoke at her funeral, tell stories of her sense of humor, how she treated those around her, and how much she loved her family; especially her daughter. I believe that even with her passing, she continues to touch the lives of many. For me, when I listen to her music, it still entertains and uplifts me. When I hear the songs "I Look to You" and "I Didn't Know My Own Strength", the lyrics inspire me. When I see her in past interviews, she reminds me to have continued faith and to always, always trust my life to God. I really do believe as Bobbi Kristina put it, that, "She had an amazing spirit."
Whitney, I hope you’re dancing amongst angels, walking streets of gold, rejoicing with your Father, and entertaining everyone in Heaven with that amazing voice God gave you.