"We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will."
Whitney Houston passed away February 12, 2012. She was 48 years old.
I never in a million years thought I would be hearing those words, not anytime soon, anyway. In fact, I went to sleep last night hoping I'd wake up and it would all be a horrible dream...but it wasn't. The world has lost a shining star, an international icon. My heart aches and my prayers go out to her family.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love me some Whitney Houston. I have all her Cds and even play her holiday Cd each Christmas; it's part of our family tradition. From the very first time I saw her, I remember asking, "Who is that?" There was just something about her that made you take a second look. Whitney was talk, thin and beautiful. Unforgettable. And when she opened her mouth to sing, it wasn't just any voice that spilled forth, it came straight from the angelic gates of heaven itself. You realized you had witnessed something spectacular and God-given.I was in awe. I appreciated talent even back then.
There was just something about Whitney that appealed to me immediately. Maybe it was because she was REAL. She was the sister-friend that I could have gone to school with or simply hung out with. I could imagine myself picking up the phone and saying, "Whitney, girl let me tell you what happened today" or "Girl, you showed out on the Soul Train Awards." Whitney carried herself with an air of class and sophistication whenever I was privy to her presence on stage. Her beauty radiated outward like a halo for all to see and she made me so very proud.
Whitney's talent spoke volumes and when she blessed us with a song, we realized we were in the presence of a superstar. God blessed her with an extraordinary voice that generations of young artist would try to emulate, but there was only one Whitney. There will never be another. When she sang a song, we felt it somewhere deep within, inside. We didn't just hear her songs, we experienced each emotion. For me, it's all about the emotion. Not many artist can capture the essence of a song that makes us feel it, note by note.
Back in the day, I wanted to be Whitney. I sensed there was something special about her from the very beginning. She had that IT appeal and it radiated brilliantly like the brightest star in the sky. I emulated her hairstyle. You know, the one she wore with big wavy curls, and I attempted to dress like her. I didn't have the height, but I had her reed-thin frame. And her smile lit up any stage she graced. Whitney could do no wrong in my eyes. I would defend her like she was my home girl from the block.
Yes, Whitney was human. So, please don't judge her. She had very real flaws, imperfections, demons and a dark side like the rest of us. Guess what? It didn't take away from the incredible gift God had bestowed upon her. Remember how she took that Dolly Parton song, I Will Always Love You, and made it her own? She placed her stamp on it and it was pure Whitney. Remember the video of her simply sitting in a chair, how could you forget it, there was nothing dramatic or over-the-top about it? But she owned that song and when she hit those high notes with little to no effort, I wanted to jump through the screen and give her a high five and say, "You go, girl! Do the damn thing." Whitney was my girl. That's her legacy....she was the greatest talent of my era. And I will always, always love her.
I've come to learn, there is a lesson in everything. What I take away from Whitney Houston's tragic death is twofold:
Life is short, so very short. We are here and gone in the blink of an eye, so don't take it for granted. Show and tell your loved ones how important they are to you. AND...I pray that I live my life in a way that affects people in a positive way. I don't want my living to be in vain. I don't want to be forgettable. When I take my final breath, I want to leave behind something that is lasting and pure and good for generation after generation to appreciate.
Rest in peace, Whitney. You are gone, but never forgotten. There will never be another Whitney Houston. Rest now. Job well done!
Labels: death, i will always love you, legacy, talent, tragedy, whitney houston