Farewell Seems the Best Word

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via hypebeast.com

I was in college at a gas station when I heard the news that Tupac Shakur had died. I was sad, but not shocked.

I was at work when word spread about the death of Michael Jackson. We all thought it was a cruel joke and remained glued to our computers and TV’s as the truth unfolded. I was shocked, sad and speechless.

I was on my way to begin date night with my husband when I saw the news on Twitter about the death of Whitney Houston. Again, I just KNEW it was a cruel joke. I clicked around until I saw a story on TMZ and lost my breath. Then, I turned on the radio. Their playlist included nothing but Whitney and that was my final confirmation. At that moment, I seriously fought back tears.

Never before had I had that reaction to the passing of a celebrity. I’m not sure I ever will again. For me, she wasn’t just any celebrity. Not by any means. Her star rose at a time in my life when I really needed confirmation. I needed to know that I wasn’t alone. That reassurance came when I was nine-years old. Being a super tall, super thin nine-year old in the 80’s wasn’t easy. It’s during that time when kids can be and are cruel. (I can’t believe I’m crying as I type this.) Looking different was all the ammunition people needed to make sure I didn’t have much self confidence. Enter this regal beauty. This tall, skinny chocolate woman who everyone seemed to adore. To make things even better, she never hid her relationship with God. She was a church girl, like me! She became a role model for me.

Over the years I had determined that when I grew up I would be just like her. I would be a model, then a singer. I would be graceful and poised. I would carry myself with such confidence that teases and taunts wouldn’t get to me. As I grew to become a young woman and her life began to be fodder for tabloids, I held on to the Whitney that I knew. The Whitney that I connected with all those years ago. I just knew that she would return to her former splendor. I held on all the way up until February 11, 2012.

I have not achieved her success as a model or a singer. It’s not even a goal anymore. What I do hope to carry on from her is the ability to inspire and encourage other young girls. I hope I am able to show them that they are beautiful, strong and worthy of every gift God has blessed them with.

I leave you with one of my ALL time favorite Whitney performances. When I first saw it, I recorded it and I’m not sure I could tell you how many times I played it back until I learned every word and every note. As a little girl, I had hoped to meet her and tell her how she’d inspired me. As a grown woman, I pray that she rests in His peace. God, help her daughter, mother and loved ones.

Bonus – Purely Gifted:

 

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32 Responses to Farewell Seems the Best Word
  1. Natalie
    February 13, 2012 | 6:22 am

    I loved Whitney Houston growing up…The Bodyguard was all the rage then. It is sad to see such a wonderful singer leave us so soon. I played some old CD’s yesterday sycg a beautiful voice.

    • Natalie
      February 13, 2012 | 6:23 am

      That was supposed to say such a beautiful voice. Sorry was looking at the toddler at the same time as typing…not advised!

  2. Shell
    February 13, 2012 | 7:05 am

    I really thought that it was just a mistake- since twitter has a tendency to do that sometimes. So sad.

  3. Rose's Daughter
    February 13, 2012 | 8:52 am

    Oh, I understand. I loved Whitney Houston. I feel like I’ve lost a family member.

  4. Latorsha
    February 13, 2012 | 8:57 am

    She will be greatly missed!
    I have so many favorite songs by her.
    So many people remember the BodyGuard & Preacher’s Wife. But don’t forget Waiting to Exhale!
    RIP Whitney!

  5. Amber
    February 13, 2012 | 9:07 am

    Beautiful post, Cam. The impact of this loss is truly being felt around the world.

  6. Kristin
    February 13, 2012 | 9:34 am

    Such a tragedy…

  7. kita
    February 13, 2012 | 9:34 am

    I heard it at first on twitter I was like twitter killing people again. I still did not believe it until I saw cnn say it then I got emotional she was and will always be my favorite singer. I spent the entire night listening to all her cds because I have every single one. Now I need to find her movies.

  8. All about Baby Madi
    February 13, 2012 | 10:50 am

    A true legend! I was immediately in shock and saddened, it’s like she was a part of my family. I was 13 years old when I dedicated a song to a boy – Saving all my love for you – what did I know about love!

  9. Emilia
    February 13, 2012 | 11:32 am

    She was one of the greatest singers of the 20th century, she sold over 140 million records, and she was great woman, too. I really feel sorry about that she had problems in her private life.

  10. Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    February 13, 2012 | 3:58 pm

    She had a voice that was a gift. I doubt we’ll ever hear another so lovely.

  11. KalleyC
    February 13, 2012 | 5:18 pm

    She was truly an inspiration to us all. The voice of hers was so wonderful, I remember growing up, and practicing my vocal cords to try and do what she did (of course never really came close).

    It’s hard listening to her songs now, but when I do hear them, I can still feel the soul behind the words. RIP Whitney.

  12. Kristy @PampersandPinot
    February 13, 2012 | 5:18 pm

    It was shocking news. My husband and I were in a cab ride home at the end of date night. She was amazing.

  13. Nellie
    February 13, 2012 | 9:13 pm

    she truly was an inspiration to us as young girls… i’m still not in a very accepting place… this post was very beautiful

  14. raenze
    February 14, 2012 | 12:35 am

    She is my inspiration and I think she is the best singer and celebrity for me…No one can replace here…

  15. Joanne
    February 14, 2012 | 3:59 am

    I didn’t realize how much Whitney’s music had shaped my childhood until I started hearing all of her songs on the radio and remembered listening to them at various points in my life. Such a tragic loss.

  16. Barbara
    February 14, 2012 | 5:07 am

    It is truly sad.

  17. Mimi
    February 14, 2012 | 6:46 am

    I am so saddened by this. I mean there will never be another her. I think the part that hurts so much is that the way in which she died. She had so many more years and to be taken away from us like that. I don’t know. My feelings are so jumbled. She reminds me of my mother and Saturday mornings in our house cleaning blasting her music. Its just sad.

  18. MrsTDJ
    February 14, 2012 | 6:50 am

    Thanks for sharing sis! I’m so happy that my fellow bloggers are making me proud in their Whitney memories and tributes. I’m still not quite able to form the words.

  19. Alicia @MommyDelicious
    February 14, 2012 | 9:49 am

    To say that I was in SHOCK when my friend sent me a text saying, “Whitney Houston has died” is the understatement of the year. My reply? “Stop lying.” Then I took to FB, Twitter, and Google to make sure his text was some sort of a sick joke.

    It wasn’t.

    I couldn’t belive it. I’m still in shock. I can’t fully put my finger on it (not yet anyway), but I am so saddened by this. That night, I logged off FB and didn’t go back on it. I didn’t watch the Grammy’s. I shut down. And I’m still processing this. It makes me so so sad. And I keep thinking of Bobbi Kristina. I just don’t even have the words to put together to comment on this post…

    • Arnebya
      February 16, 2012 | 8:20 am

      That’s it exactly, Alicia. I shut down. Once I heard I knew FB was not the place for me. I looked at Twitter and saw Questlove had tweeted something like “I can’t take this” and I turned it off. Literally. Turned the damn phone OFF. I sat at my dining room table like a family member had died and just listened to her music the rest of the night. I still can’t fully process; sometimes I still want them to say ha ha, fooled ya!

  20. Mama Mary
    February 15, 2012 | 6:41 pm

    I’m still not over the news of Whitney’s death. She meant so much to me in my formative years! Her voice is unmatched.

  21. Arnebya
    February 16, 2012 | 8:17 am

    I can’t and won’t focus on those addiction years many seem to want to harp on. Her voice, her music, got me through some things. Typical teenage things (and later, adult things), but meaningful moments in my life nonetheless. I’m with you in that I’ve felt bad when celebrities have died before. But I have never FELT like this. My mother cried when Minnie Ripperton died and I will never forget wondering how someone she didn’t know could have impacted/affected her that way. I’m sad to say that now I do.

  22. Dora
    February 16, 2012 | 1:27 pm

    She did make all women feel incredible and acceptable in their feelings, good, bad. Incredible talent to make one feel that with her voice and the lyrics she conveyed.

    Your post touched me when you said how felt insecure. We all go through that at some point and it’s great that she spoke to you. We should all have an AHA moment like that in our lives.

    Great post!

  23. Cindee
    February 16, 2012 | 11:33 pm

    So sad to loose a lovely lady. She had poise and class and tried so hard to go back to her roots. I love the BodyGuard one oft all time favorite movies. Great post nice tribute too. Whitney we will always love you .

  24. JDaniel4's Mom
    February 17, 2012 | 10:26 am

    I didn’t believe it at first either. She had so many challenges and seemsed to overcoming them.

  25. YUMMommy
    February 17, 2012 | 5:08 pm

    I couldn’t believe it when my sister called and told me that Whitney has passed. They’re forever starting rumors on Twitter and trying to kill off celebs that way. So, I thought it was a joke until I flipped on the news and there it was. It’s just sad that we’ve lost yet another great person who was getting their life on track and had so much to live for still.

  26. karla
    February 17, 2012 | 7:54 pm

    Whitney is one of the most admirable singers in the world. A lot of new singers idolized her as a performer and a mentor. Whitney is a big lost to the entire music industry.

  27. Brenda
    February 24, 2012 | 1:57 pm

    Whatever happens, Whitney Houston will always be Whitney Houston and no one can defeat her being legend…

  28. Ely Latisha
    March 11, 2012 | 5:00 am

    Whitney rest in peace!

  29. Trexcy
    March 14, 2012 | 12:52 pm

    I really hate farewell moment, because I don’t want to feel that I am alone again and searching again for new friends…

  30. Lupita, Lupita, Lupita | Bibs & Baubles
    March 3, 2014 | 6:12 am

    […] someone other than her mother that she was beautiful. She found that in Alek Wek. For me, it was Whitney Houston. I cried because of her humility through this incredible ride. Her rise in the industry is nothing […]

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