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If I Am Not Here: An Open Letter to My Daughter

Dear Daughter,

if-i-am-not-here

Your dad and I started doing estate planning recently and that means making sure you are taken care of first and foremost. We already started a college fund and bank account where all your birthday and Christmas money goes. Today we also talked about who will raise you if we cannot be here. It’s hard to think about the possibility of us not being here to see you grow and being a part of everything you do. It is heartbreaking to think we wouldn’t see you graduate or fall in love or have a family of your own. I pray every day that I am here to see you do all these things. But the reality is that anything can happen. The unexpected can change your life in a heartbeat and we need to be sure that if that change happens you are taken care of. Still there are things I want to teach you and tell you even if you cant hear my voice.

So if by some chance you are reading this because I am watching over you from heaven then I need you to know what we wanted for your life.

Be kind. This is a lesson I wish I had learned sooner in life. It is so easy to judge a person or a situation without having all the information. It is easier to go along with your friends then to contradict them. It is hard to find the soul of a person when all you see is tattered clothes or dirty hair or some other trivial thing. Try to be better than that. Know that EVERY person has worth. EVERY soul has value. Everyone (even you) needs help or a friend or a kind word or a chance. Give it to them. I promise you that you will NEVER regret doing it but you may regret it if you don’t.

Forgive. If not for them for you. It only hurts you to hold on to anger and resentment and hate. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to keep someone who is toxic in your life. It doesn’t mean you have to keep being hurt. It only means you let go of the negative and open that space in your heart to something better, someone better. You are such a sweet girl, fast to forgive and to ask forgiveness. I hope that never leaves you.

Love unconditionally. Give your love freely without any expectation in return. People will always need it. It’s OK if it’s not returned. It’s OK if your heart gets broken. It will mend. It will hurt like hell and feel like you never want to try again but you will. You must, because you are already a kind-hearted loving girl. When people suck, and sometimes they will, you will rise above it because you know how to forgive and how to be kind and love anyway. It’s what makes you so special.

Work hard. In everything you do, do it well. School work, career, relationships…. It all takes work. It is all worth the work you put in. Try not to put things off or talk yourself into doing or accepting less than what you know is right. Other people will appreciate your efforts and YOU will know you have always done your best. Sometimes it won’t seem like it; sometimes it will seem pointless or wasted but you will feel better about you when you do. On the flip side, take time for yourself too. Work hard to relax. Work hard to enjoy the simple things. Work hard to take quiet time for yourself and do the things that make you happy.

woods-walkGet educated. Know the importance of education and how much it can do for you. I am not just talking big houses and fancy cars (though financial independence is paramount so go to college!) I am also talking about culturally, spiritually, and every other way. Learn about other people. Learn about their culture and appreciate its beauty. Learn who people are, what their dreams and aspirations are. Appreciate their difference from you. Respect them and treat them how you would want to be treated. Open yourself to new ways of thinking and seeing the world. Don’t be afraid to change your opinion as you learn and grow, it is a strength. Learn history and respect the people who made it. Respect that others’ sacrifice has allowed things for you we never dreamed possible. Learn to cook and be experimental. Travel and experience all kinds of lives. Education is not just schoolwork, it is life.

Exercise and take care of your skin. Your health is the most important thing you can give yourself. It’s what allows you to do everything you do for yourself and others. Use your body carefully and wisely, you won’t get another. Eat right but enjoy dessert sometimes. Move around more days than not. Get massages as often as you can. Do yoga and take long walks for your body and your soul. Wear sunscreen, always. Moisturize – don’t pick. And for the love of all that is Holy – DO NOT buy a magnifying mirror and spend one minute analyzing every pore on your face. You are BEAUTIFUL inside and out. Know it, own it and respect it. Don’t take it for granted but also don’t stress about it. Age gracefully but naturally. Appreciate laugh lines and stretch marks. If you are living right you will come by them through incredible circumstances and joy.

Know that you are loved. You are loved more deeply than you could ever believe and you will be loved until the end of time. You are our living and breathing spirit and all that we hold dear. So, in those moments of doubt, when you feel alone or unworthy, you are loved. When you wonder if we are proud; we are. When you feel scared or unsure, and we are not enough, trust in God for he loves you too.

2 Responses to If I Am Not Here: An Open Letter to My Daughter

  1. Megan G. October 6, 2016 at 8:23 am #

    Kim I only skimmed this and had to stop…tears at work are not a good look! So beautiful! I’ll fully read later today 🙂

  2. Jill October 9, 2017 at 11:09 am #

    I love it! Well said, and good advice to a sweet little girl who seems to have only joy in her heart

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