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I wrote 4 letters to my daughter the first 6 years of her life and kept them locked away. My intention was to give her a letter for the milestone birthdays up to adulthood – 13, 16, 18, 21. It was my way of sharing with her older self what her younger self and I encountered of each other. I thought about that the other day because I couldn’t find the letter I’d been saving for her 21st (July 2018). And then I asked myself why I stopped writing them when she turned 6. It was because by that time, her memory and understanding were more mature and we could talk about stuff in the moment. Well, mostly. Obviously more as she got older.

I’ve always been a somewhat complex person. Actually, in my own way, I’m high-maintenance but in a different way. I can look back and see how I’ve evolved (and why) over the years and for the most part, I like where I’ve ended up. I’m talking spiritually. It is the foundational piece that helps sort out the rest of my moving parts – intellectual, emotional, psychological and physical (though I need to work more on that one).

One of the church mothers used to say about my relationship with my daughter, “She’s done well to survive you.” She would always laugh afterward but I know it was her way of sharing her wisdom. And I’ve heard it enough times to know to be cognizant of it. I imagine what it might be like to be the only person in the world who has a natural “power-under” relationship with me – and I show, as often as possible, reverence for our future role reversal.

Lately, I’ve been considering those in my close circle. I do what I can to always be respectful, usually helpful, appropriately kind and openly loving. It might not look that way and to be honest, we’re people so my self-interests, deficiencies and diva-like moments are just part of who I am. I stand by my earnest prayer to be a blessing and not a harm regardless of one’s position relative to my circle. So as I am known to do this time of year, I am looking forward while looking back endeavoring to ensure that I do right by those I love and those who love me.

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