Why Whitney Houston’s Music Is (The Other) Love of My Life

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I’m such a huge Whitney Houston fan that although news of her death broke almost 24-hours ago, I’m just now pulling it together enough to attempt to write this post. Before you write me off as a fanatic, just listen.

Whitney’s music has been a staple in my life since childhood. Everyone says they grew up on Whitney, but, I really, really did. They say that a person uniquely identifies with the music they listen to frequently during pivotal points in their lives, particularly their young adult years. That explains it all. You see, my mother, who died when I was nine and whom I miss every day, worked almost an hour away from where we lived. When I wasn’t in school, my grandmother and I would drop her off in the mornings and pick her up each evening, so that we’d have access to a car during the day. That was four hours a day I spent on the road, two of which were with both of the most important women in my life, all of which were spent listening to Whitney’s first and second albums in full rotation.

Three generations of women bonded over her smooth, heartfelt ballads. My mother would tell me that I was her one true love and sing the words of “You Give Good Love” to me day after day. Back then, the messages behind most of Whitney’s hits went right over my head, but I still felt the love, and the beat. Whitney was like a sister, and her music was how the women in my family got through the good, the bad, and the ugly. She was there for us when the men in our lives weren’t, or just could not be. Her music always picked us up, and for those three minutes that we belted out the lyrics to one of her songs together in unison, we had not a care in the world. I will never — ever! — stop cherishing those precious moments with the two most amazing, dynamic Black women I’ve ever met. Moments I had no idea then would be cut so short, so soon. I lost both of them to breast cancer before I ever became a woman myself, and before I truly felt the feelings Whitney sung about with her every being. I hadn’t yet learned the lessons she must have had to in order to pen lyrics so heart-wrenching and true. After my mother passed, and my grandmother, each time I played Whitney at full volume for hours, days, and nights, to mourn their passing and frequently throughout my life to remember the times I know they’d want me to.

After my mother passed away my father and I healed together, through Whitney’s classics. As we played her albums together on road trips and special occasions, he would tell me which songs had been he and my mother’s favorites (“Saving All My Love for You” and “All At Once”), and which she’d dedicated to him in the past (“You’re Still My Man”). We cried together; we cried with Whitney. We healed through Whitney’s music – there’s just no doubt about it.

Fast forward to the moment I knew I’d met the man I was to marry and had fallen deeper in love with than I’d ever known possible. I knew my husband and I’s love story would not be complete without a little Whitney intertwined in it. I once surprised him with a special dinner and serenaded him with Whitney’s “You Give Good Love”, explaining why that song represented all the love in my heart, and then some. After he proposed to me on Christmas Eve night 2009, I sang “All The Man That I Need” and cried crocodile-sized happy tears.  I know both my mother and my grandmother would be proud of my choice. They would have adored my husband the way I do, and that means everything to me. At our wedding, my father and I chose to dance to Whitney’s “One Moment In Time”, because it was truly our moment. The moment we knew we’d survived the loss of the woman we both loved beyond words. The moment where he could feel confident that he was putting me in the care of the man who loved me as much as he did. The moment I’d found my “Greatest Love of All”. The day was truly “So Emotional.” My mother and grandmother were there – I felt their presence the entire day, and especially as I held my dad close and we swayed to, by far, Whitney’s greatest song ever.

Whitney, I’m certain that you’re now up in heaven with the other angels. We’ll miss you dearly — more than you could ever know. If you’re listening up there, know that I thank you for providing the soundtrack to my life. Thank you for blessing the world with your beautiful, one-of-a-kind voice, and for touching our lives one classic love song at a time. Now you, my mom, and my grandmother can all sing together, up in heaven, as it should be. I can live with that.

Whitney, I will always love you.

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16 Responses to Why Whitney Houston’s Music Is (The Other) Love of My Life

  1. Charli, some time back after listening to a song I had not heard in a long time, I found myself taken back to a previous time, a previous life…..and I thought "Music breaks my heart, and then rebuilds it." This is what I thought when I read this post. Your heart might be broken with the news of Whitney's death, but her music will live on and it will rebuild it. All the best.
    TheOpinionista
    My recent post Woman Power: The Femaleverse Strikes Back

    • ManWifeDog says:

      "Music breaks my heart, and then rebuilds it." <– -YES, so, so, so perfect. I love this and will hold on to it. Music does exactly that. We must allow it to help us heal as much as we can, and forgive it for revealing the secrets of our hearts, even when we really didn't want it too.

  2. middlechild says:

    Whitney has been such a blessing to you. She not only had the best voice ever but as you said, she felt and put the emotions into every song. She had exquisite control of her voice, a trait I greatly admire. She will be missed but as you say, she is in Heaven.

  3. themarriagecoaches says:

    All I can say is wow. What a wonderful tribute to Whitney, but also to your mother and grandmother. As a mother I pray that I leave such an impression on my four girls that they cherish me. Thanks for sharing such a personal and heartfelt story. I could feel your pain and your love. But God, He is truly able to heal and will continue to provide you with those moments to help you still feel your mother and grandmother's love wrapped around you through the music you shared with them.

    • ManWifeDog says:

      Thanks so much. I'm sure your four girls will cherish all the time you've spent together. Once she was gone, I missed ALL the moments I ever shared with my mother — even the ones when she was upset with me. I would have taken any of it, just to have a few more seconds. Thanks for reading!

  4. Mrs TDJ says:

    Great post! I'm still not able to put my feelings into words.
    My recent post I Have Nothing

  5. Erika says:

    Such a touching post! Her voice was the most beautiful thing I've ever heard. Thank you for sharing how her music has influenced your life in such a lovely, intimate, inspiring way. Take care!

    • ManWifeDog says:

      Thanks so much for reading and for leaving comment love. She sang like an angel for sure. I always say her voice was like a bell — the perfect pitch, always. RIP Whitney!!!

  6. i can't help but cry. whitney has touched me in ways no other celebrity has and her death feels like the loss of a family member. thanks for sharing your story. it's a beautiful thing to have her music weaved throughout your life.
    My recent post Farewell Seems the Best Word

  7. TheProDiva says:

    Excellent post sis! Whitney was an icon, and she most certainly will be missed!
    My recent post Martini Thursday!!!

  8. Whitney has been such a blessing to you. She not only had the best voice ever but as you said, she felt and put the emotions into every song. She had exquisite control of her voice, a trait I greatly admire. She will be missed but as you say, she is in Heaven.

  9. Kabir Sharma says:

    Really full of enjoyment and interesting article that you have shared with us. I have read the little bit of it. Music or movies both are best for leisure. I am also a big fond of it and mostly used http://www.movierulz.us for this purpose. But i hate social platform because i think they are just wasting time. The second reason lies in the features of the assimilation of information when working in multi-user web-based platforms. The man who sits, for example, in contact gets a lot of diverse information in small portions for a small period of time: read a very brief comment, replied immediately opened the news, there buried his eyes in an interesting post in the community about science, I began to read in parallel to include audio, nedochital as attention distracted by a message from a friend, and said, went to the page of a friend to see what's new.

  10. n songs says:

    Thank you for sharing how her music has influenced your life in such a lovely, intimate, inspiring way. Take care!

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