by Arthur Osueke, Washington D.C.
Dear Future Daughter,
As I write this now, you have yet to be born. You haven’t even been conceived. But as you read this, I am preparing to give your hand away. From then until now, know that you have been and always will be in my heart and on my mind. It is 2016 and your aunt’s birthday is tomorrow, so she asked me to write a piece for her blog: “If you could tell your future daughter anything, what would you tell her?” she said. The more I thought about it, the more daunting it became. Finally, I asked myself, “On the day that you give her away, what would you want her to know?” So here we are angel. Today is your day. Here are my words.
Never be afraid to be who you are. Who your mother and I have raised you to be. The person that this world so desperately needs. Distinct pieces of us now reside in you. Take them far. Never let them go. Embrace them and broadcast them to the world with pride. For your mother and I, there have been efforts of struggle in working toward progression. There has been pain and unease. There has been good and there has been bad. But what triumphs over all, is the reality of you. So please angel—be you. Be unmistakably YOU. Be emphatically YOU. Be rivetingly YOU. Be unapologetically YOU.
Where you will be questioned, answer with conviction. Reassure those who doubt you, with displays of confidence. Through your intelligence, enlighten those who degrade you. Comfort with compassion, those who confide in you. Show empathy, maintain a comprehensive perspective, and practice patience—anger does not last forever. Hold your head high, but know that my shoulder is near. Command respect, but acknowledge human dignity. Maintain focus on your goals, but remain attentive to the world. There is nothing you cannot achieve, if you want it so.
May your faith not be shaken, as its roots lie too deep. May your confidence never be broken, for you have a foundation too strong. Create, nurture, and build your dreams, they belong you. Hold them sacred, in high regard, until they bloom into tangible reality. Look to inspire throughout your existence, speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and always display faith to those who wander lost. Know that love will take you as far as you as you let it. God is love. Allow love to lead.
So as I wrap you in my arms, as truly mine for the last time, I release tears of joy. For all of the uncertainty of this world, I look to you. In that moment—I feel comforted. I’ve said all that I can say. I have done all that I can do. Promise me, my babygirl, that you will always be you.