Tuesday, March 06, 2012

RIP Whitney Houston

I know it may seem so five minutes ago, but I'm still reeling over the death of Whitney Houston. Many people have raised a brow to my sincere sadness at her passing, and I too, don't quite understand why it affected me in such a profound manner.

I've been listening to Whitney Houston since I was six years old. I would spend afternoons lying on my back next to my Uncle Fred's boombox, repeatedly listening to her incredible vocals in The Bodyguard soundtrack. "I Will Always Love You," "I Have Nothing" and "Run to You" will forever have a special place in my heart. I love the movie The Preacher's Wife. It is Christian, sentimental and has a happy ending. Man, Whitney, where did it all go wrong?

What haunts me most about her death is that it epitomizes the tragedy and fragility of human existance. Taunt me if you may about how seriously I am taking all of this, but for realz, this has hit me hard! Just humor me for a bit.

Let's review the arc of Whitney Houston's life (the details of which I have gleaned from her 2009 in-depth interview with Oprah Winfrey). She was raised a devout Baptist. She had incredible, unmatched vocal talent. She had a sincere, caring heart and wanted to share her gift with the world. And yet the overwhelming pressures of celebrity and an incongruous marriage led to her drug addiction and, most likely, her death.

I'm saddened because she was just such an incredible artist. Her vocal control, range and authentic expression is absolutely unmatched. And even though it may be absurd that I identify with her and feel like I knew her personally, I don't care! Rest in peace, Whitney! You are a gift from God.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Asking for Help

So this past couple of weeks has been pretty challenging on the caregiver front with my grandparents. Had a pretty bad scare last week when my grandma fell--just THUD! SPLAT!--in the kitchen. I mean, at one point I was about to laugh out loud at how absurd and crazy it was. I had to drag her along the ground, on her back, through the kitchen into the living room so that my grandpa and I could lift her up to a sitting position on the couch. I mean, it's that bad. She's so frail that she can't lift herself up from lying down to sitting up. She couldn't even use her legs to scoot. I mean, imagine an upturned beetle on its back, skinny legs flailing about to no avail. Her appendages have gotten that spindly, I swear.

In the aftermath I was anxious and panicked and generally having thoughts of "I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!" However, in my long journey as caregiver I have found that in these moments of utter helplessness/feelings of futility it's simplest and best to ask for help. One of the singular and most unhealthy beliefs for caregivers is the "I can make it on my own" mentality--like suffering in silence is noble or something.

If we all just had an adequate dose of humility, we'd all realize that we are no one's savoir and that the only way that we can ever take care of someone is with the help of others! There would be SO MANY less burnt-out, unhappy, emotionally-martyred people in the world. My theory is that each caregiver in the world must stand upon the shoulders of at least seven close friends and supporters that will cheer them on, pick them up when they're down and share the burden. We all need a "team" to hold us up when we're too crumpled to stand on our own.

I'm very thankful for my friends and family that have helped me through the ups and downs of living with my grandparents. This is dedicated to you!