Posts Tagged ‘Tragedy’

Oprah’s Interview with Bobbi Kristina and Family

July 27, 2015

Bobbi Kristina Brown has passed away at the tender age of 22. She died Sunday evening, July 26, 2015. Today I am re-posting a review of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Bobbi Kristina in 2012. It was Bobbi Kris’ first public interview after losing her mother, Whitney Houston. In the light of the devastating news about Bobbi Kris, I wanted to share again the interview that showed that Bobbie Kris, despite still grieving her mom, was hopeful and seemed to have a future. Oh how we were all pulling for her that night.

Oprah  Winfrey  interviews Bobbi Kristina for first time after Whitney Houston's Death. (Photo Credit: OWN/Ophrah Winfrey Network)

Oprah Winfrey interviews Bobbi Kristina for first time after Whitney Houston’s Death. (Photo Credit: OWN/Oprah Winfrey Network)

I just watched Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Bobbi Kristina Brown (Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown’s daughter), Gary Houston (Whitney’s brother), and Pat Houston (Whitney’s sister-in-law). It was a very emotional program. I went into it with a sense of apprehension mixed with “I can’t miss this”. I must say that I was very relieved with the outcome. Here’s why.

I remember seeing Diane Sawyer’s interview with Whitney a number of years ago, and although Diane asked the pertinent questions, it got a little combative. With Bobbi Kristina having just lost her mother, I wanted to hear from her, but I also felt a bit protective at the thought of this teenager being thrown to the wolves with pointed questions raining down upon her like jabs in a boxing ring. I needn’t have worried.Oprah to the rescue.

I can’t think of a better person than Oprah to have conducted this interview. Oprah welcomed Bobbi Kristina with arms outstretched, and simply held her for several moments. You could see that she put Bobbi Kristina at ease. Oprah led Bobbi through favorite memories of her mom. She asked touching questions such as “what will you miss most about your mom?”, and “what was your last day like with your mother?”.

I was so happy to hear Bobbi say that, though it was difficult, looking back she sees that her mother was preparing her for the day Bobbi would be thrust into the spotlight. And she felt that Whitney’s spirit was still with her saying “keep moving on. I’ve got you”. Bobbi said she has her up times and times when it hits her hard, but that she’s taking it one day at a time. Overall Bobbi came across as a very composed young lady, dealing admirably with the loss of a mother she so clearly loved and cherished. I believe Whitney would have been very proud of her.

Pat Houston struck me as someone who loved Whitney very much, enough to dare to stand up to her in a world of yes men. She spoke honestly of Whitney’s problems, but said that Whitney was dealing with her issues and, towards the end of her life, was turning things around for the better. She shared that Whitney was last at their home on New Year’s Day. She said she’d never seen Whitney so happy as she was when they played a rousing game of bingo down in the basement. She described Whitney as laughing the whole time and thoroughly enjoying her time with the family.

Pat went on to poignantly describe her last moments seeing Whitney when, despite the authorities trying to force her out of the hotel room, she was unable to leave her friend Whitney alone. She stayed until the EMTs had exhausted all rescue efforts and covered Whitney’s face before they carried her body out. Pat said that in the end she feels that Whitney’s downfall was looking for love in all the wrong places. Whitney was human just like the rest of us. I must add that very few of us have not been in that same predicament at one time or the other.

Gary Houston was clearly a big brother in tremendous grief. When Oprah asked him about Bobby and Whitney, it was very interesting to hear Gary say that he loved Bobby and thought he was a great guy. He said, in effect, that Bobby and Whitney were very much in love, and were both great people. It’s just that apparently they weren’t good together. He couldn’t place the blame on either party. I thought this was an incredibly fair and objective statement considering how Bobby is routinely maligned by much of the press.

Gary said that the only people who really know what goes on in a marriage are the two people in that marriage. He did touch on the fact that he felt very violated by the fact that someone among the close family and friends invited to the viewing at the funeral home would have taken a picture of Whitney in her casket and leaked it to the media. He called the act “wicked” and I totally agree.

Oprah said that she’d spoken to Whitney’s mother Cissy Houston the day before the interview and offered her the chance to speak if she wished. Cissy said that she just wasn’t ready to speak yet, and understandably so. Gary said that his mother had told him several times that Whitney’s voice was a vessel for her gift from God and that they wouldn’t have Whitney with them for long. He said that though Cissy had mentioned this several times, Whitney’s death still devastated her. Oprah said that when she asked Cissy how she was doing, Cissy said “some days I’m not doing”. My prayers go out to Cissy and the family.

Though many of us are still reeling from the unexpected loss of Whitney Houston, I have to commend Oprah for the compassionate manner in which she conducted this interview, even shedding tears when witnessing the family’s grief in telling their story. Oprah Winfrey handled this interview in a classy, dignified and respectful manner. And in this sometimes sordid, cut-throat tabloid world, it was, quite frankly, a refreshing and hopeful change. Well done Oprah. Rest in peace Whitney Houston. Thank you for sharing yourself and your incredible voice with the world. Yours was truly “The Voice”.

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Misguided pilot: Pre-Easter Tragedy on the Mount

March 27, 2015
Unnecessary ragedy brings sad day to the French Alps.  (Photo credit:  Sebastien Mortier via flickr)

Unnecessary tragedy brings sad day to the French Alps. (Photo credit: Sebastien Mortier via flickr)

Although time has proven that you can rarely judge a book by its cover, there used to be some indication given off by a person that all was not well. In the case of the pilot that slammed a planeload of innocents into the terrifying vista of the French Alps on March 24, 2015, not only is he allegedly believed to have done this on purpose, but by most accounts he was an all-around great guy.

Andreas Lubitz, the culprit of this hate crime, was what the world calls a success.  He knew early that he wanted to make a career out of flying, and started training soon after graduation from high school. Many of his co-workers, neighbors, and instructors described him as a sometimes quiet, but friendly and popular man. He was admired for persevering and obtaining his goal of becoming a pilot.

But his apparently deliberate actions have many of us questioning what we think we know. No matter how shiny the outside veneer, only God completely knows the heart of men, although we can sometimes catch glimpses of the inner man by the fruit he bears. So despite this young man’s accomplishments and skills, something was terribly wrong. We don’t know at this point what it was, but whatever it was has changed the trajectory of an untold number of lives.

The other 149 people on Germanwings Flight 9525 had their own hopes and dreams brutally and instantaneously, according to the crash site investigators, snatched away. Their families and friends had their lives and hearts changed forever with the loss of their loved ones in such a tragic and senseless way. The randomness of this act is almost unbearable because it highlights the vulnerability of the masses.

What we can do

It is becoming increasingly clear that one of the most important things we can do is continue to pray. Even with all of the horrible things we see in the news, I don’t think we can even begin to imagine that horrors that God  may have blocked from the world thus far due to the effective fervent prayers of the righteous. (James 5:16 KJV)

We must watch as well as pray. Even though there may not be obvious signs of mental distress, be ever vigilant regarding subtle changes in behavior or mood swings in co-workers. We often spend more time with co-workers than we do at home, so we can sometimes pick up when they are a little tense.

Finally, continue to live. I saw a quote the other day advising people to live rather than just exist. We must be careful not to chain ourselves inside of ourselves, refusing any interaction with the world because of what might happen. Once you’ve done your due diligence as far as careful preparations and safety precautions, enjoy life for the gift that it is. I thank you.

My prayers and condolences to the loved ones of those lost in the tragic flight of Germanwings 9525.

 

 

Remembering 9/11/2001: From Horror to Hope

September 11, 2014
9 11 photo
That horrific day changed life in America and touched us all in some way.  We never thought we’d live to see an attack on our own land.  And such a ferocious, deadly, and vicious attack.
But 13 years later we are still standing.  Amidst wars and rumors of wars we just have to keep praying and believing God that He didn’t bring us this far to leave us.  And we have to hold on to the fact that if God brought us through before, He’s the same God today that He was yesterday and will be forever more.
I just wanted to share this picture in memory of those who lost their lives on 9/11/2001, and in thanks to the many first responders who worked around the clock trying to rescue survivors.  And prayers to those who lost family and friends.

Pres. of S. Korea blasts ferry captain; says actions ‘tantamount to murder’

April 23, 2014
Recovery efforts continue in tragic sinking of South Korean ferry, Sewol.   (photo credit:  Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Recovery efforts continue in tragic sinking of South Korean ferry, Sewol. (photo credit: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

“You must’ve said, ‘Daddy, save me,'” wept one father.  His shout and the cries of other mourners were so chilling, that in a CNN news video, police guarding the recovery area of the sunken South Korean Ferry were seen wiping tears from their own faces.  Last Wednesday the ferry, Sewol, sunk while carrying high school students on a field trip.  Today, South Korean President Park Guen-Hye bluntly lashed out at the ferry’s captain and crew, calling their actions as the tragedy unfolded “tantamount to murder”.

English.news.cn is reporting that as of today 87 are confirmed dead, 174 have been rescued, and 215 still are unaccounted for.  As details begin to unfold, investigators are alleging that Captain Lee Joon-Seok made several errors in judgment.  The ferry made a turn without properly slowing down.  When the ferry started going down Captain Joon-Seok was not actually at the wheel of the ship.  He had given the helm to a third mate who’d had no prior experience sailing rough waters.

Joon-Seok has defended his actions saying he felt if he’d ordered evacuations, it would have been worse for the students because they would have been spread out in the waters, and there were not many ships in the vicinity to assist with rescue efforts and lift the kids out of the water.  So he ordered the passengers to remain in place until further notice.

President Guen-Hye was furious and dismayed because despite ordering others to remain onboard, Captain Joon-Seok and some of the other crew were among the first to leave the ship when the rescuers came, instead of staying behind and tending to the welfare of the students entrusted in their care.  Captain Joon-Seok was arrested after the accident on multiple charges to include negligence and abandoning ship. Over the weekend several more of the crew were arrested, bringing the total to seven.