Sunday, February 12, 2012

She Is Lost

I wanna dance with somebody
I wanna feel the heat with somebody
Yeah, I wanna dance with somebody
With somebody who loves me

I often feel weird when a celebrity dies. Because of the nature of our society, it feels like you almost know the person, even though you really don't. The parts of their lives we see are filtered through the news media, through reality shows, through publicists.

Some deaths pass over my head because I don't know the person or their story was just not a part of my life. And then there are those whose presence was weaved into my existence to such an extent that I stop and pause when I hear about the news.

Last night, as I drove to a restaurant to have dinner with a friend, I found myself singing classic Whitney Houston songs rather loudly in my car. My R&B stations had gone to all Whitney in dedication to her life. I'd learned of the news just before I left, having already stopped for a moment to let the knowledge sink in.

As I drove, and I sang, I realized how much her music had touched my life. Memories of sitting in the car with my Mom driving here or there. Memories of family members, of summer get togethers, cookouts, barbecues, and the like. Being little and dancing around on my Mom's King sized bed in just my long night shirt singing to her music on the radio.

A year or two ago, I bought my Mom a greatest hits album of Whitney's for her birthday or Christmas; I can't remember which. My Mom has it in her car still, and not just in its case. It's in the CD rotator, one of five she listens to on a regular basis.

Before Bobby Brown. Before the reality show. Before the drugs. Before the mediocre movie roles. She was this vibrant woman with a voice that shook me. Her voice was a part of my childhood.

So, once again, we've lost another celebrity. Possibly to drugs. Possibly because her body was weaken by the toxins. Possibly it was an aneurysm or a stroke or a heart attack or a slip-and-fall or any number of things that can befall anyone at any time. We don't know yet.

However she passed, last night we lost another song bird, another voice of our community. She is lost.

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