I really didn’t want to write this post….no really, I didn’t but after reading, A dIvA mOm’s Journey’s latest post, I couldn’t help myself. You see I’m from Newark, New Jersey, the same Newark, New Jersey that I left in August 2011, also the same
Newark, New Jersey that Whitney Houston is from. She was born the same year I was, just a few weeks before me. The church that she sang her first song in, The New Hope Baptist Church is the church I attended, served and preached my first sermon at. I didn’t know Whitney, she had already left…she was on her path to stardom but I know her mama, the legendary Cissy Houston so my heart cries for her. I feel connected to her by geography as well as similar experiences. I have been so deeply disturbed by her death and even more so by the nasty, negative comments I have read throughout the internet. People are so cruel and judgmental but don’t know the first thing about what kind of pain one feels when they have been ensnared by the power of drugs. I can’t say I knew her pain but unfortunately I know all too well mine and what caused me to fall into a year long battle with drugs.
17 years ago, I was a walking, talking, functional coke-head (for those who don’t know, it means my drug of choice was cocaine), I went to work everyday and sniffed cocaine everyday of my life during that year. I don’t know why I took that first snort but I do know that
after that first time, everything about life seemed so much better… until it wasn’t. Like Whitney I never set foot into a drug dealer’s presence, I had my own personal delivery man, the same man who introduced the drug to me. I won’t go into the gory details but just know that one day when enough was enough, Jesus came to see about me and I was delivered, not in recovery but delivered, healed and set free! Now I can hear what you are saying about me right now and you know what, I don’t give a damn. I shared this part of myself to release the shame and stigma that drug addiction has placed on people, that enveloped me, so that those who are still being held captive can receive the healing they need. Drug addiction is a serious war if you haven’t been on the battlefield, don’t throw grenades they can injure sometimes unto death.
Tomorrow the world will say their goodbyes to Whitney Houston, her life will be remembered and celebrated where it all started in a church on Sussex Avenue in Newark, New Jersey surrounded by her loving family and friends. Forget about what you’ve heard, forget about what you’ve seen for no one knows truly but God. I am basking in the glow of gratefulness for her life ,while mourning the loss of a remarkably, gifted woman but when it’s all said and done… I’ll be rejoicing that one of God’s beloved children has gone home.