A Letter To My Honey Bun

Dear Miss Avery Josephine,

Hello, My Love. I’m so glad you’re finally here. It’s been almost two months and three weeks since your arrival, and I’m already so in love with you. Part of me is so excited because sharing a body with you was no picnic. It may have been a 38-week long, self-service, all-you-can-eat buffet for you, but it was much harder for me than everyone said it would be. Most of all, I’m glad you’re finally here because I’ve been waiting to hold you and love on you since the first time I felt you move.

The first thing I want to say to you is THANK YOU! You probably won’t understand until you’re a young woman going through your own personal dramas, but YOU SAVED MY LIFE, and I’m so grateful. Finding out that God blessed me with you was the best thing that could have happened to me at this point in my life. I’ve already changed in ways that I never thought I would. “How?” you ask? Well…

Unfortunately, before you came along, Mommy had been learning some tough lessons about self-worth and personal value. I had lived 31 years of life, and no one had ever taught me how to truly love myself. I’m sure that one day your uncles will tell you stories about how your grandmother taught us to pride ourselves in being her children and the way she brought us up, but from my experiences, one’s inner pride about where they come from and ability to love him or herself are two totally different things. They are connected, but definitely not the same.

As I reflect on my life, I can admit that, aside from superficial vanity, I didn’t value much of anything about myself. Over the years, I had been letting people talk to me and treat me any way they wanted to. I allowed my own negative thinking and comparison to other girls and women hold my self-esteem to a low level, and I didn’t demand respect for myself from family members, people who I once considered friends, or boys that I wanted to love me. I won’t even start on how I was always uncontrollably crying and upset with myself because I allowed someone to get close enough to carelessly hurt my feelings.

How I allowed other people to affect me wasn’t even the worst part. My lack of personal value and inability to self-love made it easy for me to do things to hurt myself and put my health and my life at risk without thinking twice about it. I had allowed the hurtful things that people said to and about me to hold insurmountable value, and not so long ago, I was convincing myself that my life wasn’t worth living and evaluating how little of an effect it would have on the people around me if I were here one day and gone the next. Until God sent you to me, I didn’t realize how much power I had, nor did I even attempt to protect my spirit from the negativity that had been bringing me down for years. If I’m being completely honest, I have to say that I’m still learning, even now that you are here with me.

So I’m sure now you’re wondering why I’m sharing these truths about my life with you. It’s because I know that I now have a responsibility to try to protect you from making the same mistakes I did. I know you’ll need to have your own learning experiences, but there are some things I don’t want you to have to learn the hard way like I did. I look into your big, bright, brown eyes now and see so much innocence and wonder, and I’m terrified at the thought of you losing it all as young as I lost mine.

My biggest worry in life now is about the challenges you’ll face from possibly not having a strong, positive, honest, honorable, respectful male figure in your life. This concern is at the front of my mind, but I hate to talk to people about it because they always feel the need to caution me about getting into a relationship too fast and being careful about who I bring around you, as if I don’t already have those thoughts for myself. It’s seems like they don’t realize how my first thoughts are of your well-being over mine all of the time now.

Your grandmother taught me the importance of relying on my faith in God to provide what is missing from my life, and now I finally am, much more than I ever have before. It’s a scary and saddening thought for me, but if it is God’s plan for me to be alone for the rest of my life, I will willingly submit without complaint if it prepares me to teach you how to truly love and respect yourself before inviting anyone into your life on a close and personal level.

Avery Josephine, I want you to read this letter one day and know that I’m always thinking of what’s best for you. I want you to develop the strength that I’ve been told that I have, the strength that I didn’t know how to use. I want you to rely on your faith in God and His plan for your life, and to know that even if you feel alone, you will always have His love, protection, and guidance to lean on. I also pray for the wisdom and strength to teach you as much as I can, especially how to love God as your Father before any other man that comes into either of our lives moving forward. Finally, I pray every day that your vision of life won’t ever get so dark that you need to be saved the way you saved my life last June.

With more love than can be expressed in words,

Mommy

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