My heart holds more love for you than you will likely ever know. I have loved you from the moment I knew you had been conceived and I love you now. I don’t like or approve of everything you do, the choices you make, the friends you keep, or the habits you develop, but those things do not diminish my love for you.
You have made choices in your life that brought you to where you are today. I warned you about them, and being young, headstrong, and independent, you chose not to heed my words. I don’t judge you for that, for once I was young also.
I still have a hard time understanding why the gangsta lifestyle appeals to you. I remember it starting before you were a teenager. I know lots of kids listen to the music of that movement and are never in trouble with the law. Sometimes they never do drugs, get involved in illegal activity, or choose friends who are heavily entrenched in that lifestyle; you did. You idolized the rappers you heard on the radio and saw in videos. You wanted to be and do all that they talked about. You wanted to be tough, to be hard, and to dress and look the part. I didn’t get it then, and I don’t get it now.
I think of your childhood often these days. When you were a little girl you used to wear those little dress-up princess shoes. You could run in those little wedge heels; fast as greased lightning. You once loved horses, riding rodeo, and rescuing puppies from the pound. You used to love God, church, your friends, and your childhood dream of being a “gospel-singing, rodeo-riding missionary” You lost that little girl and her dreams somewhere along the way and I hope somehow, while you’re away in prison, that you can rediscover at least a little piece of her.
I don’t expect you to go back to the way you were before you started heading in a negative direction. In fact, that would be impossible. I simply hope that you can rediscover and hold on to that part of yourself that was innocent, full of dreams and ambition, and wide-eyed with wonder at the world around you. Perhaps you can find her and nurture her and let her grow a little bit within you so you can find some sort of peace and happiness with yourself…..and maybe figure out who you want to be when you get out of there. It’ll be your perfect opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start over again.
Meanwhile, I’ll be right here, hoping and praying you can figure out how to merge that little girl you were with the woman you have become; someone you can be at peace with and love, nourish and care for. I will continue to write to you, support you, and love you…and to believe, as always, that you are smart enough and beautiful enough to be anything in the world your heart desires.