The first two songs I learned to sing were Jesus Loves Me . . .
Jesus Love me
this I know
for the Bible
tells me so.
And The Gambler . . .
You gotta know when to hold ’em,
know when to fold ’em,
know when to walk away,
know when to run.
You never count your money
when you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for counting
when the dealin’s done.
Genius, really. After all, what more do you need to know as you set out on this grand adventure called life?
From that auspicious beginning, however, my music selections faltered a bit. My mom, trying to fit in with the holy roller set, did go through an elevator music phase. Even she will admit it was a low point–lucky for us all, one short lived. Perhaps it was still too traumatizing and I blacked out several years, I don’t know. What I do know is this: no one singer, group, or song stands out from around the age of three to my teenage years.
And then I heard Whitney Houston.
I wanted so badly to be able to sing with such emotion; since I couldn’t, I learned to lip sync to perfection. For many years, her music served the soundtrack of my life.
So it should come as no surprise that a piece of my heart broke with the news of her death.
I’m sad she didn’t make it. I’m sad for her mama and daughter–having had my own friends and family who couldn’t outrun their troubles, I know how difficult it is to say goodbye. I pray they all find peace.
Yet, despite it all, it was Whitney’s music that managed to lift my spirits. You see, I didn’t have time to read message boards or watch tributes. I had a tight deadline on a very tedious project. The only thing that got me through was singing I love the Lord . . . and Queen of the Night (yeah, I don’t know–apparently, I haven’t changed that much).
So yes, I do believe Whitney Houston’s voice was a gift to us all–and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to experience it.
And, as death is wont to do, I’m thankful for the reminder: to live each day with intent. To keep a firm foundation. To temper the bad with the good. To use our talent while we still have breath. To love the Lord–and all those he places in our lives–with all our heart, each and every day . . .