Whitney Houston by Delina Hill-Brooker

ImageFor whatever reason, the death of Whitney Houston has struck a strong personal chord with me. Her funeral was yesterday and yet it STILL all feels like a dream. I know that everyone has a gift and a purpose to fulfill while on this earth, as well as a time to die. No matter the reasoning why; us leaving this earth it’s inevitable. To loose anyone is hard and even though I didn’t know her personally, I was still saddened and hurt that God chose to take her at such a young age. Forty eight USED to seem like it was a long time, but it’s really not.

My first recollection of Whitney was my fifth grade graduation. We sang “The Greatest Love of All.” When Ms. Kathy Robbins and Ms. Dorothy Owens let us hear the tape (yes the tape) of Whitney singing it so we could learn the song, I was instantly in love. Even at an early age, I had an appreciation of REAL music and true vocalists. My neighbor Kris who lived down the street had an beautiful singing voice and we would sit in her driveway and request that she’d sing certain songs for us; my request was always “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” or “One Moment in Time”. When I was in middle school on of my best friends Courtney and I would walk down the hall singing, “My name is not Susan.” When Whitney sang “The Star Spangled Banner” That is when I knew that one day I wanted to sing that song for Super Bowl. When my other best friend O’Leta moved out into her own apartment every time I would come over to visit, we would pop in Whitney Houston and sing with our karaoke microphones, “It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay” and “My Love is Your Love”. You couldn’t tell us that we weren’t performing at a live concert! The first time I heard, “I Will Always Love You,” I was listening to the radio while cleaning the kitchen and I stopped dead in my tracks thinking to myself, She done went and done it now. I was stunned. When I started singing in weddings I would ALWAYS sing “I Believe in You and Me.” After hearing of her divorce and struggles with addiction I was watching Oprah and heard her sing, “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength” I was GENUINELY happy for her, as I had been rooting for her to pull through and come back strong and whole.  Soon after, I was leaving my subdivision and heard “Million Dollar Bill” and I smile appeared on my face…just like every other Whitney Houston song I heard.

Her voice is timeless, always pure and crystal clear. Her delivery of each song was sure, and punctual. She’d hit her high and low notes EFFORTLESSLY. She made it look and sound so easy, but we all know that everyone can’t and shouldn’t attempt to sing a Whitney Houston song. It took me a long time to even attempt her ‘easier’ songs. But I studied her, like she was my own personal teacher. I would pause the tape or CD to mimic her part by part and copy every rift and run. She and Mariah Carey are the only reasons why I wanted to be a soprano. Even when she wasn’t her best vocally, she was better than most. Even if people don’t like her personally or aren’t even true fans, one thing you cannot deny is THAT GIRL COULD SANG!!! She made her mark and set the bar so high.

People have so many thoughts about Whitney, her relationships, her addictions, her attitude and life in general. But there truth of the matter is, we will never REALLY know how she felt as a person. To be put on a pedestal and still have to keep up that persona even when she was in her darkest hours, that has to be hard! Some people would argue that, that is the price she paid for fame. I disagree. Some people will say she chose to live her life that way, that is true, but until you have walked in her shoes, we cannot judge her. We all make mistakes and do things that we are not proud of. The only difference is most of our lives are not in the public eye to be judged, exploited and criticized even more. I’m not justifying anything wrong that she may have done. I’m just saying she was still human. No one is perfect. The perfect persona they gave her as an artist is just that…a persona. That is marketing, not real life. Since this blog is about Whitney and not Bobby, I’ll just touch on this briefly. LEAVE BOBBY ALONE! He is going through his own struggles. Whitney’s death was not his fault. His mother and father died last year and then Whitney this year. THAT is a lot. I’m not sure what REALLY happened at the funeral and why he left, but does it really matter? He is mourning the lost of a loved one. Say what you want about who introduced who to drugs etc, Whitney was grown. I just pray that whatever ill feelings from either and both sides can be resolved. Bitterness paralyzes life, love empowers it. – Harry Emerson Fosdick.

If I’ve learned nothing more from the life and death of Whitney Houston, I’ve learned:

1. Do what you were called to do, do it well and to the best of your ability.

2. Always take care of your mind, body and spirit because it’s so much harder to get these back.

3. Nobody’s perfect. Don’t judge others. Show compassion and love.

4. Life is too short

5. When you see others in trouble or need – pray for them and the people around them.

Instead of judging, speculating, rationalizing the life, music and death of Whitney Houston let her life be a lesson for your life. I know I will.

Rest in sweet heavenly peace Whitney Houston. Thank you for sharing your gift with the world. You will always be the greatest in my eyes.

Bobby Kristina and Bobby Brown and the whole Houston family, I will be praying for you all. Keep your eyes on Him!


*I was going to do a medley video tribute for Whitney, but I’ve been having technical difficulties. Maybe later.*

*Picture is used courtesy of Brian Coyle*


1 comment so far

  1. Rae on

    I just now had a chance to read while at lunch, WOW and fabulous job on this writing peice. I agree with you whole heartedly…..She was human and don’t judge and leave Bobby alone! Yes mam…. Thanks for writing this, my same exact feelings. Great job Delina.


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