“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called….Life.”
Never have these words had such a deep meaning as they do today as we learned about the passing of musical legend and icon Prince at the age of 57. While I realize there’ve already been way too many celebrity deaths this year, I have to admit that this one hit me the hardest.
For as long as I can remember, Prince Rogers Nelson has been in my life. In fourth grade I was at my friend Shawn’s house and we were gathered around her boom box listening to, “Purple Rain.” The songs were mesmerizing, the lyrics were on the naughty side, and although I didn’t quite understand everything he was singing about at the time (remember, I was in fourth grade and pretty sheltered), I was hooked.
For the rest of my life I would bleed purple when it came to Prince. I cannot even begin to count the endless hours listening to his albums. He kept me company on road trips, experienced every important milestone with me, and became an ever-present companion. His beautiful voice is one of my favorite things. Although I would have loved to have met him, I doubt I would have been able to speak in his presence. He was just larger than life to me.
In high school my cheerleading squad used Prince’s song, “Baby, I’m a Star” as the music for our competition routine at The Nationals. We must have spent a thousand hours (only a slight exaggeration) practicing and listening to the song over and over again. It’s been almost 25 years since we graduated and to this day whenever I hear, “Baby, I’m a Star,” my body starts doing the motions we used in our routine. It’s impossible to sit still during a Prince song. Impossible. I love Prince. I will always love Prince. My heart is broken.
Thank you for the music. Thank you for the beautiful lyrics. Thank you for the purple rain you brought into the world. You will be so deeply and profoundly missed. R.I.P. Prince. We love you.