Whitney burst onto the scene in 1985 (The same year my oldest daughter burst into the world, but the 2 events are not related I just wanted to put that out there!!). She was a skinny kid from New Jersey, with big hair, a HUGE voice, and terrible dance moves! Whitney's voice made up for her shortcomings in the dance department! She dominated the scene with her voice, huge smile, and effervescent personality.
Yes, Whitney Elizabeth Houston had captured our hearts and we loved everything Whitney! God had blessed us with someone who possessed a voice we could sing along with, dance to, cry to, and fall in love with. Little did we know that Whitney would enjoy the highest of heights and experience the lowest of lows. We laughed when she laughed, smiled when she smiled, collectively held our breath with amazement when she sang the National Anthem and collectively groaned when she married the bad boy of New Edition Bobby Brown. Everyone wondered, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS MESS! But we tried to ride along with it. As a society we said OK, she is rebelling, but as she spiraled out of control, society turned its collective backs. And when she hit the lowest of lows society just shook their heads and said, "We knew it" or "Saw that coming". At this point the singing diva, pop Queen, star of music and film had fallen from grace. She became a soundbite, a parody, the muse to comedians and comedy skit writers everywhere.
I personally blame society. I do not blame society for her choices, those were clearly her own. But I do blame society for burdening her with the job of being our perfect princess. We, society, put her on a pedestal, and then loaded her with the burden of stardom, the burden of expectations, the burden of hits, the burden of tours, the burden of perfection. When she buckled and cracked and fell under that pressure, we turned our backs. People say, well she should have gotten out of the business. But would society allow that? When our stars are no longer in the public eye, we wonder where they are, we write stories and blogs and editorials about stars asking where are you? When will you release more music? When are you going to be in more movies? What are you doing now? We need a new album, etc, etc. We, as a society are hard to please. Our stars are darned if they do and darned if they don't. We do not take into account that she had a life. She had bills, had a child and a husband and a mother. We do not care about personal issues, kid gets call from school, husband may not be faithful, menstrual cramps, migraine headaches. No! All we want are the HITS! The RECORDS! The MOVIES! THE STAR!! The object of our misguided affections has ceased to be human and has become a symbol of what we want our stars to look like, act like, and be like.
But through all of the drama, the highs, the lows, the fame, the triumphs, and the failures, only one knew her worth. Only one new her best, and I think that was the last conversation she had. I would like to think it went like this...
GOD: Daughter, it is time...
WHITNEY: But Lord I have so much left to do, to prove.
GOD: You have nothing to prove. Your purpose is fulfilled, your job here is done.
WHITNEY: But God tonight is Clive's party, and all eyes will be on me wondering am I well, can I make a comeback. I must attend to show them I am good!
GOD: When I formed you in Cissy's womb and touched your vocal cords, and blessed you with the gift of song, it was only for a moment. It is not about Clive, society, or Grammy. You have glorified me with the beauty that I placed within you. You have glorified me, acknowledged me, and carried additional burdens that were not yours to carry. You are tired, burdened, and heavy laden. It is time to drop the burdens of this vessel and put on your new glory clothes. I have other assignments for you in another place in me.
WHITNEY: God what about Bobbi Kristina, what about my mom?And with that she took the Father's hand and entered into His glory. Of course this is how I want to believe it went, but only God knows what happened.
GOD: I will never leave nor forsake them. This, Cissy knows. And whenever Bobbi Kristina calls on me I will answer her. Daughter, take my hand and rise from that bathtub. Rise with me.
What I want EVERYONE to remember is that Bobbi Kristina lost a mother, and Cissy Houston lost a daughter. She was a human being not a star, not a soundbite, not a leading news story. She was some one's family. We should remember and respect Whitney as one of God's chosen vessels. This is an honor she deserves.
I think Whitney said it best as she sang her own eulogy,
To learn more on Whitney Elizabeth Houston go HERE and HERE.
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