In response to today’s Daily Prompt, the first person that came to my mind, naturally, was my daughter. Maybe it’s not the most original concept, as far as who would be the recipient of a letter to the future, but that doesn’t make it any less the truth– so much so, in fact, that it’s already occurred to me.
When my daughter was about 4 months old, I decided to start a journal, in the form of letters addressed to her. Whenever she did something new, hit some landmark in her development, or just did something to make me smile, I’d add an entry to the journal. It was a way to sort out my thoughts and often overwhelming feelings of love (and consequent worry) for her. It is also sort of written scrap book, and a way to let her know I love her in the event that anything should ever happen to me.
I’m under no illusions that I’ll live forever, but the thought of leaving her before I’ve had a chance to see her grow up, before I’m ready to go, is really scary. I want to be able to be there for her, for all the trials and tribulations (if you’ll excuse the cliche) of growing up– skinned knees and school plays, boy troubles and sharing her dreams. I want to be not only her mother, but her confidant, and her friend. But if something should happen to me, if I should be in a car accident or fall terminally ill, there are a few major things I want her to know:
There are so many things I want to tell you, to teach you, and to share with you. Hopefully there will be time to do them all, but if for some reason I can’t be there to tell you these things in person, there are just a few things I want you to know. Some of these things might seem little, but I think they are important nonetheless.
–Always send thank you notes. It’s good manners, but more importantly, it lets people know you appreciate them.
–Be kind to animals. How you treat animals is a good indicator of how you will treat people. Also, animals are innocent and a gift, and it’s our job to protect them.
–Honesty is important. There is almost never a good enough reason to lie to someone you care about. Be honest with yourself as well.
–Value your good friends. You may have a lot of friends, but true friends that are always there for you are rare and something to be treasured.
–Nature is beautiful. Take time to stop and appreciate it.
–Hold the door for others.
–Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
–Be respectful to your elders, but never be afraid to stand up for yourself.
–Stand up for yourself, and those who can’t stand up for themselves.
–The world can be scary and people can be mean; always be vigilant and protect yourself.
–Know when to say “I’m sorry.”
–Cherish books and music. They can open doors to magical places and become part of your soul.
–Love unconditionally, but don’t ever let anyone treat you badly.
And most importantly, know that I love you. I’ve loved you since before you were born. I love you more than anything. Your father loves you more than anything. We love you no matter what you do, who you decide to love, where you go, where we go… We love you now and forever.
(photo taken by Cynthia Gemmill)