My dear sweet precious angel,
Your question still echoes in my ear as I sit on this flight – without wireless and no way to work. Maybe its destiny so I can write you. And answer you. At least better than I did this morning.
Momma? Why do you work so hard?
I don’t know where to begin. I can lie – and say it is for your own good. That I do it for you. So you can have a better life. Have more. Do more. Experience more. But it’s not true. That is not why I work. Not at all. It is not for you. Nor is it for me.
Honestly, I do not think you need more in life. I do not think you need to experience more. I think we have enough. It’s not for us.
It’s for others.
I work for others. I believe in what I do. Sweetie? At the end of this life I hope you get one thing from me. I hope that you see that one person can make a difference. Even if it is only in the life of one other person. And even if it is only for a minute or an hour – YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Never should you stop seeing people. Never. And know that even in that one minute – that one act of kindness -- you can transform a life. Do you hear me? Transform a life. A life.
Honey, life is not full of opportunities for everyone. Not at all. You never know what is behind the curtain of others. No need to go there. No need to pry. But there is a need in this world to accept. And love. And help. And care. And sacrifice. And give. GIVE. Give with your heart. Always. See people for their potential not for their present.
Every morning I look at you before you leave and I tell you two things – to work hard and treat people right. I believe that if your are passionate about these two things; everything else will fall into place. Honey? Life ain’t been no crystal stairs for me. I got lucky. I got lucky in so many ways. And luck just ain’t fair. It’s not enough. I want more than luck for others. I want opportunity. I want compassion. I want people to know that they are worth it. They matter.
They have someone that will stand up to make sure they are noticed. I want them to understand that where they are born does not determine their destiny. That their past will not put a lid on their future. I want them to dream. I want them to aspire for more. I want to hear them, when no one else will listen and the world silences their imagination, I want to stop and listen. Intently. And let them know I believe they can. Cause at the end of the day – life is about them…not me.
I go to work every day and work so hard because I believe my efforts make a difference to others. I believe that because of the work I do, there are people – people with names….and families…and dreams….people that will get to experience college and an education that they never dreamed the could – because I fought for them. Because I said YES THEY DO DESERVE A CHANCE! Maybe someone else would have done that for them. Maybe no one would notice if I stayed at home. But darling? I would notice. And eventually, so would you.
You have so much in front of you. You will never question an education. You will never question opportunity. You will never question love. What I hope you do question one day is bigotry. And biases. And injustices. And hatred. I hope you look back and say, “My momma woulda never let this happen. And nor will I.”
People are ALWAYS worth the fight. Always. And if I am not there tonight to tuck you in, know that my love is more than enough to cross rivers and states and boundaries and time zones. My thoughts and passion for you can never be stopped by location. I am there. And I love you so much that I care enough to show you how important your influence can be. I care enough to give you an example of what life is all about. Sweetie, life is about others. Fight for them. Care for them. Love them. And if you ever question why I am gone … know that I have so much love in my heart for you, so much passion for people, so much of a desire to see equity that I will not stop. And when I must – when I just can’t take another breath for others – I can rest at ease knowing that my heart has woven itself into yours. And now you will carry on that love…that passion…that fight – and you will write to your daughter one day the words that I hope my life sings…Others.
I love you my child. Never forget that. Never forget that one act of love – one moment of kindness can transcend years of hatred and lies. Don’t wait for the moment to find you – go out and find your moment. When you are faced with an opportunity, never make a list. The cons will always outweigh the pros. Fight the temptation of logic. Logical people never changed this world. When you are faced with opportunity, ask one question – Will this make a difference in the life of another? If you answer yes, there is no more thought needed. People are worth it. Always.
I am so glad you said yes to being my daughter. You inspire me. I love you my child.