Happy 24th Birthday! I hope you enjoy your very special day. I think of you often, my beautiful girl, especially on this day.
August has always been a difficult month for me since you were born – not because I regret my decision, because we both know I did the best possible thing ever giving you up. August is always a month for me to assess my life and how far I’ve come.
When I received your LinkedIn invite in my email not too long ago, I was thrilled. I accepted and read your profile. I felt such pride in your accomplishments; at the same time, I also felt a lead weight in my stomach and a dark depression took hold.
Feelings of inadequacy washed over me and I broke out in uncontrollable tears. Why would you want to connect with me? I’m such a nothing compared to all you’ve become. You’ve accomplished so much more in your short 24 years than I have in 43.
It was a punch in my gut (and ego) that I wasn’t quite ready for. I wallowed for a while in self-pity and then I stopped and remembered.
This is why I gave you up, my dear, so you could have a beautiful and amazing life filled with endless love and opportunities – a life I never had and could never give you.
I hate to imagine what your life would have been had I not given you up – and I’m so grateful neither of us had to experience that.
You’ve grown up to be so beautiful, intelligent and extremely talented. I know I never could have provided you with the smallest fraction of what your amazing parents have blessed you with these past 24 years.
Over the years, anytime I found myself in the midst of a struggle for survival in my life, I would always tell myself, “Thank God my daughter doesn’t have to endure this!” I have a hard enough time taking care of myself – I can’t even fathom taking care of another precious life, like yours.
While I really have no right to be proud for your accomplishments, because it is your parents who should hold that pride 100%, I still am so very proud of all you’ve become and all you’ve yet to be. I’ve always said it, my beautiful girl, you are all the wrongs of my life gone right.
Anything and everything I ever hoped to be in this life, you’ve become.
I know I am far from any position to give out advice, however I’d like to pass on a few gems I’ve recently learned and started applying in my life.
Anything you do in life, do it with great passion and purpose. Do not ignore that calling inside of you – if you feel strongly about something, it is your passion and following it will lead you to happiness.
Never regret any decision you make. If it ends up being a mistake, make it glorious and memorable and learn from it. It will build your character in ways you won’t appreciate until later in life.
If you ever get your heart broken, know that there are so many people out there that love you. Let that thought keep you company and fill you up when you feel alone and empty. You are never alone.
And most of all…
Love with all your heart, and put your heart into everything you do. Only good can come from love, so do it without fear, and do it often.
Happy Birthday, my beautiful daughter.
I love you with all my heart,