Letter to My Unborn Daughter
“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
I have begun to think of you a lot lately--- a decade or so in anticipation and already my love for you is immeasurable. I have dreamed of your face, which is a product of my own, my mother’s, and an abundance of great women whom time did not afford you the fortune of meeting (though I promise they each would have loved you unconditionally). One being my own grandmother, Morrisella, a woman strengthened by soul food, scripture, and the belief that all things are possible through Christ. You favor us all. Like all of us you are stubborn--- as none of us have the tendency to admit. Like all of us you are beautiful--- as we all have the tendency to discover late in our lives. However, this in itself happens to assist in amplifying your beauty, as you are oblivious to its existence, and thus unable to boast on your own behalf, making you a humble Aphrodite in wait. I have thought you up to be inexplicably bright. I imagine you on the floor of your room pouring over stories of queens as they rule foreign kingdoms and with each page your head ascends further into the stars. I am afraid you resemble me in this, although I take pride in it being so, because like your mother you will dream and conquer and amaze. I am sure you will be a woman with caring hands and an open heart. Be open, but be smart as you will realize this world was made to break you. It is designed to challenge you as you are born to discover it---and thus change it forever in the process. I warn you of this because I love you and please don’t you ever question it.
Take heed to the lessons learned by queens who walked the ground before you. They have endured its torments in anticipation of your arrival. They braved the storm so you may change its course. Make them proud. You have been inducted into a lineage rich in spirit and culture and music and food, and above all, will. Black girls love like cracking levis, bursting from their foundations with melanin, afros, passion, and cocoa kisses. You will endure war and pain and sickness and poverty and prejudice and love. Others will be prone to skepticism. Be patient for they know not what they do. Let them all bear witness and be blown away, let them laugh and be taken aback. Above all be cautious of those who are not yet sure of themselves. They will wander and wonder and hurt those who are unable to comprehend the tragic meaning of their circumstance. Sometimes people will enter and sometimes people will leave--- you will survive. Remember that pain demands to be felt in this condition of our humanity. Be not afraid. It is a humbling experience, my love.
I, myself, have had the luxury (and utter torment) of falling in love with a young man whom could only be described as a lost one. Lost in the sense that no amount of love from me would ever be enough to save him from the everlasting journey of self-discovery, a joyous plague brought along in the spring of our lives. His name was Isaiah and like a dark night sky everything about him made me curious. He was a reflection of his father’s own mistakes---and I loved him blindly--- for he had never known its power or its beauty. His home was filled with the suffocating spirit of judgement and hate and it terrified me. So my self-appointed mission was to save him from the dangers of lovelessness (despite the cost to my own heart). Others saw him as a warrior, but my eyes held fast to his weakness because in that I found a common bond (more common than any felt before). We fell hard into a routine of hero and damsel until soon I know longer knew which role belonged to me. However, my choice to preserve my body as my own proved to be the downfall of our teenage love affair and soon he became a fleeting memory made notorious only by the sorrow he left in his wake. Today I wish him the best as I find solace in my own heart that he never had the privilege to experience. I forgive him. Understand that love is powerful. Product of the Nile, child you behold a beauty unseen by this world. Nevertheless, it is not yet equipped to accept you as you are. Be great in the face of hatred because life is a pursuit of joy and positivity hidden in the shadows of greed and envy (shy away from your inclination toward hatred, they have no purpose here). You will find your own lost ones, be cautious, but if you must, moreover, if you do, love them, unconditionally, for they will teach you lessons unparalleled. Be not afraid. For you will be surrounded with joy--- you are loved without limits.
I know, and you will soon learn, that though this world was built by those who gave their lives for yours, for you, it is driven by the need to stifle your greatness--- defy it. The journey is long and tedious and petrifying and astounding.
You will learn. You will cry. You will shout. You must forgive. The ground is hard--- find solace in your stars. I love you and be blessed my love.