Dear Freckle Face
(A Letter to My Former Selves)
To the six-month-old hardhead
who felt the need to prove your independence
by crawling off Grandma Peggy’s mattress
and connecting with the hardwood headfirst…..
being first at everything isn’t always a good thing.
To the freckle-faced, four-eyed first grader,
so proud to pedal that little pink bicycle
all the way home
all by yourself
in the bitter winter cold,
then fling it into the yard in frustration
once you reached your destination….
remember home is the place where when you have to go there, they have to take you in.
To the geeky seventh grader
from the wrong side of the tracks,
so full of unwarranted anger and desperate for acceptance
she once snorted a packet of Sweet ‘n Low
and set her nose on fire for days trying to build this badass persona….
it’s okay to be young and stupid, but it’s just as okay to be yourself.
To the angsty high school junior
who fell in love for the first time,
had her first awkward kiss,
broke up with her boyfriend and swore the world
must be coming to an end
and her heart would never heal….
he was the first, not the last. There will be others.
To the young lady away at college
and living on her own for the first time,
ready to take on the world,
thinking she knew it all…
with education comes knowledge, but with experience comes wisdom.
To the chubby grungy redhead
wearing flannel and sneakers,
with a Bud Light in one hand and
a Marlboro in the other….
look to your left. See that young man in the wheelchair?
He will change your life forever, in ways you could never comprehend. Give him a chance.
To the twenty-year-old newlywed,
wondering what to say to your husband who was just wheeled into the room
after losing his right leg…
it doesn’t really matter. With cracked lips and dry mouth, he kisses your face and sobs.
All he wanted was to know you were there.
To the weary-eyed thirtysomething woman
who sits steadfastly at his bedside,
holding his hand and stroking his flat head,
feeling your heart break as you listen to his ragged breaths
fall fewer and further between,
as you whisper “I love you” and tell him it’s time….
this isn’t goodbye. He will always be a part of you. You wouldn’t be you if it weren’t for him.
To the middle-aged widow
who has struggled to move forward for seven years,
but has tried to rediscover her purpose,
in spite of the obstacles Life has thrown her way…..
Even baby steps show movement.
You got this girl. Never forget you’re a survivor!