Miss Jean Louise, Stand Up…Ms. Whitney is Passing…

Whitney Houston died today.  The Voice of a Generation.  The Voice of an Era.  The Voice, for many, of liberation, love and freedom.  For me, she was my vocal comrade through my twenties, dancing in clubs, crying over lost loves and dancing in the living room as if I were a character in Waiting to Exhale. 

In her later years she was known for being crack addicted and crazy, rumors I had heard for years through friends who had known her on tour and claimed that Whitney was “ghetto” and Bobby Brown was actually the sane member of their unity.  Whatever the case, for me, I will always see Whitney standing on a stage, head held high, sweating her ass off as she power ballads at the top of her lungs, every bit the ultimate role model of class and aristocracy.  Whitney was the American Dream.  Whitney made it possible for many of us to sleep at night, laugh at our own mistakes and find refuge in a spiritual world unafraid of what others might think.  She didn’t give a shit.  After all…she was Whitney Houston, The Voice.

No matter what your feelings are about Whitney Houston, it is undeniable that she changed our world for the positive, allowing us to be a more loving place, a more understanding place and more compassionate place.  As a person in recovery, I am proud to say, although sad, her addiction in the spotlight humanized the face of the addict and alcoholic and allowed, I hope, some people to find hope and recovery from addiction.

Probably the greatest moment in To Kill A Mockingbird is when attorney and father, Atticus Finch, leaves the courtroom.  As Scout sits under crowds of onlookers standing behind her, Rev. Sykes scolds her, “Miss Jean Louise. Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passing.”  It is the ultimate form of respect.

We are ever grateful for her words, her voice and the life she shared with us.

Today we stand up, Ms. Whitney is passing…

Be Yourself. Be Fearless. Be Your Own Unexpected Luxury!


*Photo from WhitneyHouston.com


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