Earlier today the world was shocked to hear the news of the death of the beloved american diva Whitney Houston. She passed away at the age of 48, a lot younger than I thought since she’s one of my earliest memories when it comes to music. She’s already been there since I can remember with great songs after great song regularly playing on the air. For me, her greatest song would be “The Greatest Love of All“, it’s a family favorite. My father loves to sing that song in karaoke because of the very personal and lovely message of the lyrics. It’s one of the most unforgettable lyrics there is, and definitely it will stay personal and cherished in the family.
“I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be..”
However, there is one story I really wanted to share but somehow backed out because I don’t feel myself capable of pulling the story off, and to be honest I still can’t it’s too emotional for me to get deep into the story to breathe a life in my writing. I guess Whitney Houston’s death gives me some guts to post it anyway. I’ve read it in the Philippine Daily Inquirer last December (click here to read the article), the story’s about a teenage girl who chose to forego her chemotherapy so that she could give birth to her baby.
The girl’s name was Jennifer Michelle Lake, she was just sixteen when she was diagnosed stage three astrocytoma, a type of brain tumor. In simple words cancer, and its a rare one. Basing on the symptoms and her experience, I think Jenni and my friend RC who also passed away on the very same month last year shared the same type of cancer. It just add to the pain I’ve experience that time reading Jenni’s story. Upon diagnose the doctors found three tumors on her brain and later another three on her spine. Her chances of survival was 30% she would make in 2 years. Instead of breaking down and cry over the situation, she chose to fight and kept a positive outlook towards life. She got herself a decent boyfriend, and even worked as an intern for a tattoo shop. Bad-ass. She spent more than a year of aggressive chemotherapy and radiation until she found out she was pregnant. Jenni was seventeen and finally she cried.
Jenni had always wanted to be a mom and was very determined to keep the baby when she went to see her oncologist, Dr. David Ririe.
“He told us that if she’s pregnant, she can’t continue the treatments,” Phillips said. “So she would either have to terminate the pregnancy and continue the treatments, or stop the treatments, knowing that it could continue to grow again.”
She chose her baby’s life over hers. The chemo stopped, her body grew weaker as the days went by and she was starting to lose her sight. And finally she gave birth to a healthy baby boy, they named him Chad Michael after Jenni’s and her boyfriend’s fathers. Twelve days later cancer took it toll, Jenni’s gone.
Jenni never have any regrets about her decision. A life was lost, another reason for one to live. Its just so remarkable what a mother’s love would do just to keep her baby safe and alive even if it costs her her life.
My siblings and I are indeed very fortunate to have a set of very loving parents who did everything in that song and a lot more to raise us up to whoever we are today. Both of them are the best parent a child could ever wished for, and they will always love to sing “The Greatest Love of All” at any given chance. That song is for me the most enduring legacy of Whitney Houston.
Rest in peace RC, Jenni and Whitney. May angels lead you in..
- Whitney Houston Dead At 48. Greatest Loss of All. (humanbodyengineer.wordpress.com)
- Top Five Whitney Houston Songs (news.radio.com)
- Whitney Houston, You Will Be Missed (wegotkidz.com)
- Whitney Houston: The Greatest Love of All (allhiphop.com)