Remembering Whitney, the girlfriend I never met

I felt compelled to write this morning about Whitney Houston.

When I first heard the news Saturday night I was out-of-town with my son’s hockey team.  Some other parents broke the news to me.

I was truly saddened.  And I could tell some other parents were too.

Whitney was a huge part of our high school years.  And as I listen to the lyrics now,  I can understand why.  She seemed so young and innocent,  like she was one of our girlfriends.

You could find a way to relate to almost everything she was singing about. I think about the song, “How will I know?”  and I applied it to my 11th grade crush.

“There’s a boy I know, he’s the one I dream of
Looks into my eyes, takes me to the clouds above”

Or when you found out “that special someone” didn’t feel the same way about you, Whitney was there too, making you feel like you weren’t alone.

“All at once, 
I started counting teardrops and at least a million fell
my eyes began to swell,
And all my dreams were shattered all at once”

Then there’s  “The Greatest Love of All”. A classmate sang this at our H.S graduation.

“I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows 
If I fail, if I succeed 
At least I’ll live as I believe 
No matter what they take from me 
They can’t take away my dignity 
Because the greatest love of all 
Is happening to me 
I found the greatest love of all 
Inside of me 
The greatest love of all 
Is easy to achieve 
Learning to love yourself 
It is the greatest love of all…”

These inspirational lyrics are quite a contrast to some of today’s songs which I wrote about in my last blog.

But it wasn’t just Whitney’s words that made me such a huge fan, it was the whole package.  As a teenage girl, I idolized her.  I remember trying to do my hair and makeup like Whitney, dressing like Whitney and then singing in front of the mirror.

Maybe, that’s why news of her death stirred so much emotion.  Sometimes you don’t have to meet someone to have a connection.

Before the news broke of her passing, I already had a few of her songs in my iTunes account.  But Saturday night, I downloaded the rest of her original Whitney Houston album released in 1985.   I couldn’t believe that I still knew the words to every single song even after not hearing some of them for more than 25 years.

Her songs spoke about love; finding love, keeping love, losing love.   And all I can think about is how love seemed to play such a tragic role in her life.

“What if I never met you
Where would I be right now
Funny how life just falls in place somehow”

Wishing we could re-write the end of her life story.  But will always remember her powerful music imprint on my own life.  Thank you, Whitney.