It has been almost 6 days since I heard about your death, and the sadness is still there, we have never met but like anyone else who have loved and been touched by your music, I have been wondering how do I tell someone that I have never met how much I will miss her because she shared so many memories with me? Well…her songs have anyway…
Beautiful Whitney in 1987, the way I remember her...
It was your “Greatest Love Of All” which my girlfriends and I sang with gusto, whenever we hung out in each other’s bedrooms as teenagers after school or at weekends, our young voices giving way as we tried to emulate your powerful vocals especially the bit “learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all” (what happened Whitney…did you stop loving yourself?) This song also reminded me to be strong especially on days when I was having it tough in school, being a slightly awkward schoolgirl with braids and big glasses and had to endure teasing from some of the nastier kids in school.
I danced to your “I Want to Dance with Somebody” during school dances with my high school crush and sometimes in my bedroom in front of the mirror, pretending that I was dancing with a certain special boy and I was still dancing to this song as a 20- something in night clubs with friends, having so much fun and laughter.
But some of the most beautiful memories you shared with me was with this boy called D.
I met D when we were both 15 going 16 and there was an instant connection between us. He was one of the nicest boys I met really smart, kind and had a sparkle in his eye.
I could not believe that someone so wonderful could like me because I was a little messed up and did not like myself very much at that age. I was an awkward kid who felt very misunderstood and uncool.
D used to ring me up every other day or I will call him when my parents were out and we would talk about life, ambition and dreams, he even encouraged me to work hard at my studies. Had I dared to tell my parents about him back then, perhaps things would have been a little different?
One day when we were on the phone I plucked up the courage and played “How Will I Know” over the phone to let D know how I felt, and he responded with Reo Speedwagon’s “Can’t Fight This Feeling”on a song dedication program on the radio. With that exchange of music, it was all out, our mutual feelings of young love.
He would play “Greatest Love of All” ( over the phone) to cheer me up and “Saving All My Love “to let me know he cared and he felt all we had were stolen moments(I know …he was the sweetest).
My parents were strict and we weren’t allowed to go out on dates, more like I was not allowed to go out on dates, but D was happy to call me his girlfriend even though most of our relationship was over phone conversations and letters (that was the time before internet and emails existedJ).
In the 15 months we were “together”, I was only allowed to go out a handful of times with D, I remember when I turn 16, he visited me with a present, we were so shy around each other that we just stared at each most of the time and secretly held hands (and no, we never kissed). It felt surreal because most of our relationship was based over the phone conversations accompanied by Whitney’s music. Sweet innocent teenage romance that I still remember to this day how D had said to me that day how he would take me out for a proper date when I turn 18.
It must have been shortly after both D and I turned 17 that I decided to break things up between us, I felt it wasn’t fair for D to be alone whenever he went for birthday parties or other school functions, and I felt he was being made fun of “for having a girlfriend who could not come out”. .
It was a very sad day when I made the decision to let him go ,after trying to dissuade me from making that decision, D finally agreed and the last two songs he played for me were “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?” and “Didn’t We Almost Had It All?” I cried buckets and could not tell my parents why.
Sadly D and I lost touch for the next few years ,being the smart boy he is, he studied engineering overseas and it was by chance, he contacted me and was back into my life when we were in our 20s and single (but that is a whole different story J).
So tell me, how do I say goodbye to someone whose songs became part of these memories? I simply don’t know how, except feeling a sense of loss and sadness for this beautiful talented lady who became a fallen star.
RIP Whitney, I hope you found peace at last.xo Rachel@Nota Hati