This post is my own response to the challenge my husband posed to several bloggers: What if you could only write one more post? What would you want to say? For more information on the thought experiment or to read other people’s theoretical “last posts,” check out If you could only write one more post.
Whether I’m thinking about mortality or my legacy my last post could be nothing but another letter to my daughter, a beautiful little girl who I hope will lose me before I lose her, and not sooner than she’s ready.
When I contemplated killing myself, now what seems like ages ago, I never considered leaving a note. Despite filling notebook after notebook with my various writings when I was growing up (as I still do), I never thought of anything I could say as there would be no explanation. Now it’s hard to think of dying without telling leaving something for her. Something that would help her make sense of all the things that will be coming at her throughout her life.
Dear Baby Girl,
I never expected to be a mother, and I certainly never expected to enjoy it as much as I do. You have been a true gift, a great addition to my life, and I hope you never doubt just how much I love you, though there will be times when we each struggle with the other.
You are beautiful and I have no doubt that you are intelligent and these are gifts that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. Use them well. Don’t ever make anyone feel less than you on purpose.
Be kind to other people, always. Be a bright spot in the lives of others.
Play. I hope you don’t ever lose the fearlessness and curiosity you display right now. I hope your imagination grows as you age. I hope you will always smile as much as you do now. Your smile brightens people’s days. Your laugh fills the room.
Love your Daddy. He loves you more than anything or anyone else in the world. He will do anything for you. He is a gift in your life and I hope you will realize how special your relationship is before you regret not realizing it.
Take care of the puppy. The love that dog gives us has no strings attached. You two are going to be best friends. Realize how special he is and take good care of him so we can give him as much love as he can handle. Cry as much as you need to when he leaves us. He is part of our family and there is no shame in grieving the loss.
Read. Everything. Anything. Lose yourself in books, seek out new authors, read newspapers and blogs and magazines and anything else you’re interested in. Learn from reading.
Learn from watching. Watch television, watch people, eavesdrop. Pay attention to the world around you.
School isn’t everything. Grades aren’t everything. Some things are going to hard no matter how smart you are. Just try.
Love this country. You were lucky to be born a Canadian citizen. That also means that you have the right to speak out against things you see that you think are wrong. Use that right whenever you feel passionate about something.
Don’t be a slave to trends. Please. Develop your own style, be comfortable with who you are. Anyone who dislikes you because you’re not in this seasons mini skirt and platform heels isn’t worth spending time with. (I suspect this will be the style at some point in your life, because it’s been ‘in’ twice during mine – so far. I still don’t get it).
Open your heart. Allow yourself to love and be loved. This is something I’m still working on and I hope it will be easier for you. It’s so important to love people.
Be honest. Not all the time with everyone, but when it’s important you’ll know.
Make the choices that make sense for you. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
You can’t be happy all the time, but I hope you’ll at least be content the majority of the time. Don’t be afraid to show your emotions.
Never, ever, under any circumstances, stay with someone who makes you feel like less than you are. If your successes make them angry, if they’re only happy when your not, if they try to keep you isolated, if any one ever raises a hand to you or speaks to you in a way that makes you feel like less than a person you leave. It might be difficult, you might make excuses the first few times, but please recognize what’s happening, listen to what your friends are telling you about the situation you are in, and leave.
Talk to us. Tell us what you’re feeling. Don’t keep anything to yourself that we could help you with.
If you’re going to drink, call home for a ride.
If you’re going to have sex, protect yourself.
And, to quote one Baz Luhrmann, always wear sunscreen.