“It’s expensive to be me. It’s the terrible things I have to do to be me.”—Anna Nicole Smith, 1967-2007

I must admit that I didn’t expect to be quite as affected as I was when I read the news of Anna Nicole Smith’s passing. While I am somewhat familiar with her due to my “sordid” past, she always came off as a really bad joke to me; a pretty and voluptuous joke, at times (I actually thought she was leaning pretty far on the side of gorgeous when she was a Guess model), but a joke nonetheless.

Aside from the one or two Playboy videos I saw her in back in the day, the only time I remember catching her on film (no pun intended) was when she did that awful, sad and totally pointless reality series on E! To be honest with you, I don’t remember if there was one time when she didn’t seem high as a kite or her son, Daniel didn’t seem totally tormented. And yet, the first season of her show set records, once again giving us the feel of the moral temperature in this country: ice cold.

But, when the news broke that her son died at age 20 of an apparent and prayerfully accidental overdose, for some reason, my heart cried out for her. In the spiritual sense, I don’t think that any of us will get totally used to death (because before sin, we were supposed to live forever), but even in this messed up world, it seems so unnatural for a child to pass before his/her parents. As a matter of fact, I remember watching an interview and hearing Anna Nicole say that if it weren’t for the birth of her daughter, the death of her son would’ve killed her.

And now, not even half a year later, she’s dead. At 39.

When I read the Yahoo news article that was released on Thursday, February 8 at 6:25PM EST, I actually found myself having even more compassion for her; perhaps more than ever before.


Through the ’90s and into the new century, Smith was famous for being famous, a pop-culture punchline because of her up-and-down weight, her Marilyn Monroe looks, her exaggerated curves, her little-girl voice, her ditzy-blonde persona, and her over-the-top revealing outfits.

Recently, she lost a reported 69 pounds and became a spokeswoman for TrimSpa, a weight-loss supplement. On her reality show and other recent TV appearances, her speech was often slurred and she seemed out of it. Some critics said she seemed drugged-out.”

What a legacy to leave behind. To die so suddenly, so tragically, and mostly be known for being a “pop culture punchline”? The sadder thing is that there are so many people in our society who are fighting, struggling, compromising and even praying to be famous and yet far too often the so-called privileges outweigh the responsibilities and price tag that come with it.

No matter what you may have thought about Anna Nicole, 39 years for anyone is very little time spent on this earth and yes, even when she was born, God had a plan for her life.

One thing that I often say and try to remind myself of daily is that one of the most powerful things God gave us is the power of choice. I’d hate to go Dr. Phil on ya’ll, but he’s got a signature quote that is so, so true (I’m paraphrasing, here): “When make you make your choices, you choose your consequences.”

Trust me, I know that it’s so much easier to judge someone else’s life than to use their legacy as a gut check for our own, but the truth of the matter is that we all have dirt, habits, issues and it’s only God’s grace and mercy that keeps us from collapsing without warning if not due to our physical choices, the weight of our sins; especially when that sin is the arrogance of our own indiscretions.

Anna Nicole was born with a start date and her end date has now been revealed. We all have both, but those of us still living have the power to create a different kind of story to leave behind.

Even now, right at this very moment, there’s a decision to be made. You can keep talking about how stupid you think Anna was, or you can use her as another in-your-face reminder that tomorrow is indeed not promised to anyone and so we must make the most of these moments.

In other words, what will the ink tell about your legacy once your time has come? It’s your choice. Choose wisely.

Full Yahoo article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070208/ap_en_tv/anna_nicole_smith