This particular blog has very little to do with travel unless we’re talking about the final destination – heaven or hell.
This is about the death of pop star Whitney Houston and dreams realized … and lost.
Actually, Houston was a star in the past tense. Over the years she had degenerated into a shell of her former self. Her voice, so angelic early on, was tough to listen to as the years passed.
The combination of drugs, alcohol and, yes, marriage transformed her into a walking public service commercial, similar to the one where the mother pulls the covers off her suddenly old and rumpled son, wondering who this guy is.
I barely recognized her in photos from Thursday night’s final public appearance. It was shocking to see this once graceful woman reduced to a stumbling cartoon character with disheveled and wet hair, scratches on her arms, blood on her legs and eyes that told us the truth.
She was messed up.
I’m not going to start preaching now, but at the age of almost 60 most people tell me that I appear in my 40s. That’s because I take care of myself. Unfortunately, over the years Houston took care of her habit better than she took care of herself.
I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t use marijuana in my early years, but I’ve been blessed with no addictions other than an insatiable appetite for the person I’m in love with. And the common sense to quit while I’m ahead.
I drink a glass of wine on occasion while on a cruise ship, but never at home. The hard stuff never tickled my fancy, and I hate the smell of cigarette smoke.
When I think of Houston, I’m reminded of what could have been. Imagine different choices being made and the success she had early on continuing until this day. No drugs, no alcohol, no Bobby Brown … and we’re probably celebrating her being honored with a Grammy lifetime achievement award today instead of mourning her loss.
Since her death, we’ve become reacquainted with her music through Facebook, television and dusted-off CDs long packed away. That voice. She passed away Saturday, but her voice preceded her in death long ago.
You need only look back to her rendition of the National Anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl 21 years ago – incidentally, another New York Giants victory – to have that voice touch your soul and make you fall in love with her.
It hurts so bad to know that her greatness has been reduced to the dusty archives of someone’s video closet.
But that pain is nothing compared to knowing what could have been.