On Saturday, I spotted the first tweet that announced the news: Whitney Houston was dead. Over the next couple of hours I watched everyone express sadness and caution (as Twitter has announced several fake deaths). In not too long, alas, it was confirmed: singer Whitney Houston was dead at a mere 48 years old.
Did you know women’s voices don’t hit full maturity until their 40s? Think about Whitney’s voice. Think about what it could have been. It just kills you, doesn’t it?
Whitney of course leaves behind not only an entirely too short musical legacy, but also a beautiful 17 year old daughter, Bobbi. My heart breaks for her; losing her mom at that age is horrible even if she’d struggled with her mother’s issues for years. As a recovering drug addict myself, my heart hurts for any family that is put through the wringer that is drug addiction. Addiction is a family disease, after all, affecting everyone around the addict. (We do not know if Ms. Houston died as a result of drugs and alcohol, although it is being reported that is the case. Her struggles with addiction, however, are well known.)
In my Twitter stream Saturday night I watched blogger after blogger share their memories of Whitney Houston; most of us are of the age that remember her first video with her big hair and that huge bow. Many of us shared that while we all sang into our hairbrushes while listening to Whitney.
Uneeka at Power Mommy wrote this heartfelt post:
“With Whitney is was the music, the melody, and the thought that a little black girl like me could do more and be more than she ever dreamed. Her smile alone spoke of confidence and spoke to my lack of confidence saying, “You can do it.” Her ballad The Greatest Love of All became my anthem. As a 13 year old middle school girl, I decided to never walk in anyone’s shadow. I decided that no matter what, no one could take away my dignity. I realized the greatest love of all was indeed inside of me as I learned to love myself. That ballad awakened the power I held within and fueled the development of the woman you know today.”
I’m hoping and praying that sentiments like Uneeka’s are the legacy of Whitney Houston that her daughter Bobbi remembers. Bless that family.