February 12, 2012

Just Whitney.

I was in the shower washing my hair...a more detailed task these days with my increasingly longer coils and curls...listening to Pandora...Erykah Badu's station....listening to Erykah when my cell rang, interrupting the song.  I like to play a guessing game when I miss a call....guess who it was....who I wish it was.  Will the two match?

My mother and I had an impromptu girls' sleepover that night, so of course I heard her cell phone ring right after my missed call.  I heard muffled sounds and "What!?!"....more muffled sounds.  Is that disappointment I hear?  Surprise?  Instantly my heart beat quickened.  Instantly it did.  My family has gone through so much tragedy in the last decade plus, that I subconsciously brace myself for the blows these days.  Before my mind could analyze what the muffled sounds meant, my mother stuck her head in the bathroom and said "Whitney Houston died."

Silence.  Oh no.  Confession: Slightly relieved.  It wasn't my great aunt or sibling or cousin or Daddy or...any relative.

But Whitney.  Hadn't seen it coming...just like with Don Cornelius...definitely didn't see that coming.  But Whitney? 

Confession:  Sad but....not surprised.  The struggle was just as legendary as The Voice.

But she's not just a voice.  Not just "the voice of a generation".  Not just a gift.

She was beauty and spunk and grace and grit and elegance and "hood" wrapped in a flawless caramel shell with long narrow legs, perfect white teeth....complemented by a full lip, the top of which would always sweat and quiver when she was reaching the mountaintop of a song.

She was who most of my generation mimicked during our 6th grade graduations...marching in and belting out The Greatest Love of All.

She was the pretty woman with the big smile....and the broken soul.  She was who so many of us wanted to be for so long.

bite of the day ~ She said it best...."Yes, Jesus loves me....". See you on the other side Ms. Houston.  Your struggle is over.