It was sad but not surprising to hear the news of Whitney Houston’s death this weekend. Whether you like the type of music she sang, no doubt she was one of the most gifted singers we’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. What was most disturbing to me in all the coverage is the comments her friends and some tv commentators made about how sad it was that Whitney could never make a comeback. As if the only importance of her life was how nice her voice sounded. It’s that type of thinking that may have led to the depression she was suffering in recent years.
No, I’m not absolving her of her part in her vocal and personal decline. Of course she chose to take drugs. I have no doubt it was drugs that killed her singing. Unfortunately, with a gift such as hers, it would be hard to have to continue to live up to that level. However, there are many gifted singers who still have it after many years.
I have a feeling that many around Whitney Houston, wanted her to be the Whitney of 20 years ago, for their own selfish reasons. The truth probably is that she would never be able to sing again- and that would be ok. Why wasn’t it ok to do something else? Why did she have to ‘come back’? The people who are so heartbroken over her death don’t realize that the thinking that ‘she never had the chance to rise like a phoenix from the ashes’ could very well be the reason she had such trouble. Everyone wanted her to be successful again. We like the happy ending where the boxer who’s down for the count comes back for a thrilling knockout, but those things in life are very rare. You can create a different happy ending. Perhaps getting up off the mat and leaving the ring is the right choice. Moving on to something else, something that might make you uncomfortable, can be a good thing. You need positive, supportive people around you. You also have to want to make it happen.
I try to look for good in the bad things that happen. I probably think too much of stuff like this. Every day people are dying. Every day people are facing tough illnesses and uncertain futures. When you face your own mortality, you realize what’s important. It’s nice to think of others, but you have to think of yourself. Whitney Houston made people happy with her music, but she didn’t seem to make herself happy. That is the tragedy in her death.
As a breast cancer survivor and fervent Komen supporter, I am extremely saddened by their recent decision to cut funding for breast cancer screening services at Planned Parenthood. There are a lot of people angry, but I can say that I am bitterly disappointed and sad. Sad because no matter where you stand on abortions, cutting the screening money to Planned Parenthood will not cut the numbers of abortions. It will only leave more low income women with one less way to get a breast exam. It will surely lead to more breast cancer.
You may not realize that one out of five women in the U.S. have been served at some point by Planned Parenthood. Only 3% of the monies they spend are on abortion. There are women who go to Planned Parenthood who are pro-life, but don’t have the money and cannot afford cancer screenings. Planned Parenthood offers a sliding scale payment system depending on your income. Those who are most vulnerable are the ones being affected by this decision.
I have been an avid supporter of all things Komen. I’ve participated in the yearly race in Scranton and the Pink Elegance Fashion Show at the Radisson. Now I find myself in a quandry. Do I continue to support Komen and the good work they do elsewhere, or do I move my support to another avenue? I don’t want to make a knee-jerk reaction, which it looks like Komen has done. One only needs to see their shifting reasoning to know what really happened here. If you have to change your story, then your story was weak to begin with.
Komen has every right to give money wherever they want. Because they depend on donations, those who support them have the right to demand honesty in return. Komen has earned so must trust over the years and now that trust has been shattered. Tell us you don’t want to support Planned Parenthood because of all the flak you’re getting from the pro life folks, but don’t make something up because you don’t have the courage to be honest .
I hope Komen does what is right. They need to go back to their mission. It’s not about politics, it’s about saving lives. If they reverse this recent decision, they may still be able to salvage what trust is left.