When I was in second grade, our music class at school performed "The Greatest Love of All". That was my introduction to Whitney Houston. Little did I know how many memories of my childhood would revolve around her.
My birthday is in February, 12 days after Valentines Day. That same year my dad gave me a Valentines card. It was small, about the size of half a greeting card. It was made of foam board and hand painted by an artist and had the first line from "The Greatest Love of All" written on it. Every day, for the next 12 days, I got another card, each day a little larger with another line from my favorite song written on it. Finally, on my birthday, he gave me the largest card, probably 2 feet tall, with the final line written on it. It was a gift I will never forget.
When I was in third grade, my dad took me on the perfect date. He picked me up from school and there was a giant box in the car waiting for me. Inside was my first "adult" dress, a blue and black printed Nicole Miller drop waist dress. I thought it was beautiful and made me beautiful. He took me to dinner and the Whitney Houston concert at the Omni. I loved Whitney Houston more than anything. We had third row tickets, center stage and I remember standing on my chair and dancing with my dad all night long to my favorite singer singing "I Wanna Dance with Somebody".
I cried the day my brother's missing Hamster was found in my closet. He had made a new home out of my Whitney Houston poster which was shredded beyond repair.
I remember getting my hair permed to look like Whitney's hair in her "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" video and wearing giant bows in my hair pulled to one side to copy her look. I'm sure she is the reason today that I still love big hair and giant earrings.
The Bodyguard was the first R movie my mother ever let me watch. I thought Whitney was amazing and I wore out my copy of the cassette tape soundtrack.
I'm thankful for all these memories. For the hours and hours I spend in my room listening to Whitney's amazing voice. I'm thankful for parents that understood me and what I loved and gave me wonderful experiences that surrounded that.
Goodbye Whitney. May you finally find peace as you stand face to face with The GREATEST LOVE OF ALL.