On special occasions I like to write notes to the people I care about. I decided to publish this note that I wrote last year to my niece on her graduation from high school because I think it embodies many of the beliefs and opinions I hold to be true based on my experience. I don't think rewriting it would have done it justice so I present it unedited.
Sometimes I find expressing my feelings best left to the written word than the spoken one because growing up I was always told it was better to hide your emotions than show them. That is poor advice and I have overcome much of that in my life, but there are moments like yesterday and reflecting upon your future I do get emotional since I am so proud of you. As I sat there in the church yesterday watching you step through a door of change I had a constant tear in my eye knowing that you are moving beyond the little girl I once knew, but excited about what you will achieve throughout your life and being blessed enough to witness it.
As you begin to step out on your own know that the world is not always fair, but perseverance and good choices go a long way so use your power of choice wisely. Above all have faith, embrace change, do not be afraid to admit what you don’t know and never let anyone define you. Always have a vision and dreams of what you want to achieve and where you want to go in life and let that guide you personally and professionally. Surely you will make missteps along the path, but learning from these foibles will serve you better than any education you will ever pay to receive.
Know that your family, and more directly your uncle, is always there for you in good times and in bad. Friends will come and go, relationships will come and go, but your family loves you unconditionally and although we might not see the world the same we will stand with you and support you as you face what lies ahead. Facing an uncertain future can seem daunting, but I assure you the good will always outweigh the bad.
I am not always good at selecting presents, but in this case I know exactly what I would like to give you for graduation; however, I am not sure if you really want it anymore so I will give you a choice as you head off to college. The emotional side of me wants to give you what you have always asked me for…a Louis that you can carry with you always. The practical side of me thinks you need a computer as you move towards college. You tell me which you prefer and later this coming week we will go and get it for you.
Closing a note of this type is always the toughest for me. Tamara, I am unbelievably proud of you, I am excited for your future, and hope that every step you make in life leads you towards more than contentment – I hope it leads you to a happiness that simply radiates from the beautiful person you are for the whole world to see.
NOTE: She chose the laptop.