Letter to My Daughters

To my dearest girls,

I wanted to take some time to write you this letter.  It was 4 years ago this month that you came into my life.  You were only 2 and 9 at the time, and I didn’t realize that you would become a permanent part of my life just 15 months later.

I did not birth you.  You each have a mother who loves you dearly.  I did, however, choose you.  When Daddy asked me to marry him, I didn’t just say yes to him.  I said yes to both of you as well, to the opportunity to be a second mother to you, to love you and cherish you every day of my life.  I said yes to being there for the good times and the bad.  And I have never looked back.

I love you both so much.  You are my baby girls.  I look at you and see limitless possibilities for you.  You are amazing young girls, and will grow up to be amazing women.  There is so much greatness in you, I can’t even begin to accurately explain all that I see.  It is cliché, but your best and brightest days are truly ahead.

My pledge and commitment to you is to be the best parent I can be.  You are both truly blessed; you have a mom and dad that love you unconditionally and a stepmother and stepfather that love you unconditionally.  You have the benefit of having two sets of parents who love you, and I pray that you get to experience the benefit of that every day of your life.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think about you, pray for you, miss you and continue to love you.  I often wonder how you’re doing when you’re not with us; if you’re having a good day or a bad day; if you’re happy or sad; and if you think of us the way we think of you.

I know sometimes I can be hard on you.  It is only to help you grow.  But I hope you also enjoy the many good days that we have.  The fun times, playing, dancing, or just talking.  There is nothing sweeter than to hear your voices in the house, even when you’re driving me up a wall fighting with each other :-).  I want to see you reach your full potential.  Daddy and I have already been successful in our lives, and continue to drive for greater success.  But even with all we do,  we want to see you reach those levels and higher.  We want to see you grow and develop into all that God has for you; and trust me when I tell you there is a lot He put in you from before you were even born.  It is our job, as your parents, to help guide you down the path to discover that purpose for yourself.

I want to thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives.  Thank you for loving me unconditionally, for reminding me not to take myself too seriously, and for being the wonderful, amazing young girls that you are.  I look forward to every day with you, to watching you grow up and to being there every step of the way.

With all my love, today and always,

Mom/2nd Mommy/Rasheeda

A Lifetime

There’s an email I got years ago that talks about relationships with people. The opening line states, “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.”  The author goes on to describe each.  Those who are in your life for a reason are to “meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly.”  Those who are in your life for a season are there “because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.”  Finally, lifetime relationships are there to teach you lifetime lessons.

Many who have read this email (or some version of it) in its entirety easily bucket people into the various categories.  Nine times out of ten, we read it and have  a hard time defining who is there for a lifetime.  After all, those who are there today may seem like they’re here for a lifetime, but, in reality, they are there for a reason or season.  But how many times do we take a moment to appreciate those who are there for a lifetime?

I’m blessed to have lifetime friends.  My oldest friend, Alicia, and I have known each other since we were two years old.  I’ll just say that our friendship spans more than 30 years.  We don’t talk often, and see each other even less.  But when we talk, we pick up where we left off.  Her family is my family. We’re there for each other when it counts, and I wouldn’t trade her for anything.

One of my other oldest friends is my “Twin.”  She and I have known each other since 1st grade (over 25 years).  We’ve had some gaps in our friendship; years going by when we didn’t really keep in touch, but we’ve gotten closer over the years.  As adults, we’ve shared laughs, tears and thought provoking conversation.  Our friendship is special; we truly “share a brain,” and have our quirks.  We have a lot of fun together, and we know how to balance that with the serious moments in life.  She inspires me and I am grateful for the way our friendship has evolved.

The last of one of my lifetime friends that I’ll highlight is Dre.  We met the first day of 9th grade (20 years ago).  By the end of that year, we had become BFFs, and were truly inseparable.  There was a period in our lives when we didn’t speak (early 20s), but eventually came back around.  She’s another one I don’t talk to enough, but when we do, we pick up right where we left off.  We both have lives and obligations to lead, but when we’re together, we can just be ourselves, without having to filter or consider much of anything.  I’m proud of the woman she’s become, and grateful for our friendship.

I have a few other lifetime friends, but these three are the oldest of them.  I take the time to highlight them here because so often we take for granted the opportunity to get to know others and to reconnect.  There are people in our lives who have influenced us in ways we may not even recognize, and we push them off to our “reason/season” friends.  But perhaps they are those that are there for the lifetime, just not in the way you may have originally imagined.  Friendship is special.  I’ve heard it said that friends are the family you choose, and I wholeheartedly believe that.  I’m grateful for the sisters I’ve chosen, because they each inspire me and encourage me in different ways.  But at the end of the day, they are lifetime friends, and I am thankful for their friendship and pray I can be that friend to them.

Take a moment today to inventory your lifetime friends, and let them know how much you appreciate them.