I’ve been very quiet about my thoughts and feelings on the passing of the legendary and incomparable Whitney Houston. It hasn’t been because I do not care but rather because I do. Some deaths, when they occur give us pause. When Elvis Presley passed away, the nation paused. When Michael Jackson died, the world mourned. Now that the world has experienced the loss of another incredible gift, I can’t help but ponder its deeper meaning.
I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time pontificating about Ms. Houston’s achievements because they are numerous. Also, the news media has done a fantastic job of mentioning her successes.
What I will point out is that few realize as I do that her greatest achievement of all was not her numerous Grammy awards or blockbuster success, but her child.
Whitney Houston was a single mom, just like me.
While many would seek to call her a “bad mom” because of her personal struggles, I don’t. The truth of the matter is that many mothers struggle with a variety of things but fortunately, their struggles don’t have to be played out in public. I haven’t always made the best choices for myself and ultimately those choices did trickle down to my children. I haven’t always done the smart thing. I haven’t always been a selfless mom. I thank God today for the opportunity to make things better and to keep trying to get it right. But a child today will lay her mother and friend to rest, not a pop legend.
When I think of my two children and the enormous love they have for me and capacity to forgive, my heart aches for Bobbi Kristina. No one can imagine what she is going through unless they’ve been there. Her mother may have been famous to the world, but she was first and foremost a mother to her. Despite her shortcomings, her mother is the one who raised her, cared for her and nurtured her. Theirs was a relationship and bond that could not be fully known by anyone on the outside. My love for my own children is something I never would imagine my life being gifted with. It is intense. It is beautiful and it is a blessing.
Single mothers face challenges that many in society don’t recognize. We must provide for our homes but at the same time, figure out a way to be connected to those we love and stay involved in their lives. Many of us carry hurt and pain from past relationships that we must daily strive to manage and keep in perspective so that we are present and available to meet the emotional needs of our children. It may look easy but the job of a mother is far from it.
Not only are you expected to look perfect at all times, when things aren’t perfect, you are to blame.
Today is a time of mourning for a family and a world who were all impacted by one woman’s extraordinary gift. While many will mourn and continue to mourn for a variety of reasons…and some will point out that she lost her voice a long time ago…
That was not her greatest gift to the world.
Her greatest gift to her family was herself and they loved her, even if she never sang another song.
She was loved by so many just for who she was.
And her daughter will always love her for being her mom and not just an icon.
I’m inspired more than ever to remember that I  and I alone am a gift to the world and to my family.
Just me.
I am enough.
If I am legendary for anything at all in this life, I want it to be for the love and push forward that I gave to my two children. If that is said of me, my living will not have been in vain.
Rest in Jesus Whitney.