“I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadow. If I fail, if I succeed, at least I lived as I believed. No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity.”
— The Greatest Love of All
Whitney, I sang this song over and over the first time a boy I loved broke my heart. I remember dancing around my small room I shared with my sister, hairbrush in hair and dressed in an oversized Minnoe Mouse shirt, and yelling at the top of my lungs because I wanted so much to believe in myself. You were my inspiration, all your songs were, your entire life was. At family parties or even when I was by myself, I would muster enough courage and sing your songs on the karaoke even though I knew my voice would crack at every line. But the heart of your songs was in me, planted in me since I was a young girl. I know things didn’t end up as you wanted, and I know you struggled so much with addiction and disappointment, but I still can’t thank you enough for giving a part of yourself to us, your fans, in your songs. Thank you for helping a little girl like me believe in herself. Thank you for living, for breathing, for giving. You are dearly, dearly missed, and will forever be remembered.