Dearest Dani, I know things seem dire right now; you are wondering why you even exist, and questioning the logic in soldiering on. I am here to tell you, I’ve got you! We have way more strength and resilience than you’re aware of at this moment… I promise.
Let me tell you about the amazing life we’re going to have. You don’t know this yet, but you’re a poet! Next year you will write your very first poem “Is This Love” and it will be published in your school newspaper. It will be the start of you finding your voice. It will be the start of powerful cathartic healing through self expression, and you will find an audience that is interested in what you have to say. You will go on to publish 4 poetry books, and people will buy them. You will read aloud to strangers and they will applaud. You’re a Poet!
You’re a writer and an activist! You will write letters to corporations that will result in changed policies; you will stand on street corners with signs educating the public. You will pen activist articles for blogs, and you will have a blog of your own “A Heart on the Matter”. You will sign petitions, and collect signatures for petitions. You will vote and encourage others to vote. You will volunteer in election campaigns. You being you, and still being here will make the world a little better for some and a lot better for others. Despite what you think now, YOU matter!
I know that you’ve been told by those you trust that your diminished vision will stop you from achieving all the things that you dream of, and right now you believe that. But Dani, they’re WRONG! You’re going to drive! Yes, that’s right DRIVE! I know crazy right; I mean your parents didn’t even want you to ride a bike. Your vision is impaired, but it’s not as bad as you’ve been led to believe. You’re going to ride a motorcycle, and drive a car, a sports car even on a mountain road. You’ll be good at it, and it will bring you tremendous joy and freedom. When you’re in your thirties you will discover the computer, and it will open up a world you have never imagined. You will be able to adjust everything to a comfortable size, and you will be able to do everything that others can do with ease. You’re going to discover photography, and you will be in love. You’re going to take some fantastic photos. You will make canvas photo art that will hang in your home and the homes of others. You will discover online tools to make your own gorgeous photo books. People will pay you to do this for them, and you will be so proud! Now I’m not saying your lack of vision won’t get in your way, it will. You will lose jobs, you will be ridiculed, you will cry, it will hurt and it will be unfair, but you will prevail!
You’re going to be a mother. SHOCK, I know. You’re pretty sure right now that motherhood is not for you. You are actually smart to think that way given all that you’ve been through. One day though you will change your mind, and change it again, and yet again. You will give birth to a beautiful red headed son who will be your joy, but also the most challenging person you’ve ever had to deal with. In addition to your son you will be a stepmother to 3 other children, and I would venture to say they are happy to have had you in their lives. You will be a good mom, not the best mom, but a good one. You will love beyond what you thought possible, and you will advocate for your children the way no one ever advocated for you. All the things done wrong to you, you will do right for them, but you will make all your own set of mistakes. It’s life, nobody is perfect.
I know that you’ve suffered awfully and I’d be lying if I told you everything will be cushy going forward, it won’t. What I can tell you is that everything you go through is going to be worth it. SO worth it! You’re going to find all the love you haven’t received in spades. You’re sensitive so everything for you in life will be heightened. The good news is as bad as bad can be will also be as good as good can be and then some. You will revel in the abundance that is nature; it will be your solace. Something as simple as snowfall will afford you profound inner peace. Wind and storms will feel like choreographed productions just for your enjoyment. Flowing bodies of water will bring you immense joy, and will be your favorite places to visit. One day you will find someone to share all this with, and it won’t be who you think. You will have your share of boyfriends, and a couple of husbands. You will know passion and wonder how people survive it because for you it will be more intense than it is for others. For you, the third marriage will be the charm. You will find the love of your life when you are 37. She will complete you in every way. You may not believe this yet, but you will love women as well as men. She will make you laugh. Life with her will be like a slumber party that never ends. You will never run out of things to say to each other, well at least we haven’t yet. You will experience a synchronicity you never thought possible. You will build a home and family together full of love and laughter. You will travel. You will make art together, and people will buy it. You will make greeting cards together, better than the one’s you love at the Hallmark store. She will nurture you in every way and you will realize your potential. You will be her rock, her protector, I know you can’t imagine yourself at this moment protecting anyone, but you will be fierce and a force to be reckoned with. You will be her organizer, her advocate, and the one who loves her beyond measure. I’m certain you will spend the rest of your life with her. Let’s just say it’s been nearly 20 years already. So it’s looking pretty great.
You’re going to know so much joy, laughter and happiness. It will take a while to get it all figured out, but you will. The bumps and bruises and hurt along the way will only serve to make you a better writer, artist, and all around good person. Life is going to be beautiful, complicated, messy, and exciting. I know this is a lot to take in, or believe at eleven, but trust me. I’ve got you! We’ve got this! Don’t give up now, it’s all going to be worth it!