I want you to know that I love you already and you are tucked into the prayers that I whisper to God at night. I’d like to think that I will be able to protect you from everything but I know that that is not how this world works. Your grandmother was the best mother and she couldn’t save me from a lot of the darkness from this world, that’s just life. You have to wrestle with the dark in order to find the light that is deep inside yourself.
Baby Girl, when Despair come a knock-knock-knocking on your door, open it wide. Welcome him in. You’ll be able to know it’s him from the wrinkles of age and worry etched onto his face. He will be almost bald and have a welcoming, but eternally sad smile. Let him, sweet child. He has many stories and many lessons for you.
Despair will try to tell you that you have to be with him all the time. Know that it is a choice. You will have a choice to stay with Despair. But choose his cousin Joy sometimes too. She can get lonely and needs some company, especially when Despair comes over. So turn on the lights that he has dimmed, tell her to join you guys for dinner.
Joy will sit down with a plop and bounce all evening while exclaiming “Isn’t life so great!”
“You’d like to think so, wouldn’t you?” Despair will interject, “But haven’t you seen all the work that Tragedy has been doing? Where is Hope? Where is the reason to keep going when all things will come to an end…”
To this, Joy will always answer “people are the reason to go on. They are the reason to keep fighting, Despair. I mean, look at her— (at this, Joy will look and point energetically at you) she’s been in your company all day but is still smiling, I think that is where Hope hides. In the smile of broken and raw people.”
Despair will stare at you with those sad eyes that seem like they are way older than he is, they hold the entire history of pain and hopelessness inside them. And you, baby girl, you will stare right back. Because you shouldn’t be afraid of Despair. And you shouldn’t be afraid of Joy. You should only be afraid if you stop feeling both altogether.
There are some people that will tell you that feeling all these things can be unhealthy but I want to assure you that it isn’t. Not feeling is so much worse than feeling and I hope you stay in a pool of emotions your whole life. They can be overwhelming. They can feel out of control. But I promise you, I promise you sweet daughter of mine, that God and I will be there every step of the way through the thickness. We will not abandon you.
So open the door. Let them all inside. Feel joy, and anger, and sadness, and despair, and fear, and courage. Feel all the things that your favorite song makes you feel and the boy next door. Feel the things that come when you lose your footing and when you contradict the popular opinion.
Baby Girl, feel. feel. feel.
You’ll thank me one day.