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To My Daughter On Graduation Day

A few years back, I learned to stop apologizing for bringing you into this world surrounded by less than ideal circumstances. I would have never been who I am today without September 17th, 1993, when the nurse handed me your little wrinkly 3 pounds and 10-ounce body. Then seeing your inquiring eyes. Later, hearing you say, mama. You have been the inspiration for my motivation.

Today, you are your grandparent’s grandparents hopes, prayers, and dreams manifested. Can you imagine the excitement in heaven when they witnessed you strut across the stage? Reminding you that though they came to America in chains, you are free. They were reprimanded for looking at letters. Sounding out words. You, my dear, have obtained a college degree in Communications. Not only can you read but you have the ability to use words in ways others can not. You have accomplished no light feat today.

I used to joke that God takes care of babies and fools. If I’m a fool for Jesus, then He’ll provide for my baby. Sure enough, He has provided an answer to every prayer. He gave us your father. It was his life’s struggle that gave you the strength to love as greatly as you do. I love that you learned from Reggie that men don’t have to be perfect because I’ve watched you embrace your husband with fervor. You embrace my husband, your dad Orlando, your uncles, and my father. You have a heart of forgiveness beyond our imaginations.

With these words, I give you permission to embrace the next level of success. Take the limits off your life. You’ve already beat the odds. You aren’t a baby nor a fool but God is still with you.  You already have the victory. Now, you can leave a legacy. Stand on the shoulders of the Dunigans, Raglands, Smith’s, Jeffery’s, Shackelfords, Davis’s, and every ancestor who has prayed for you. You are triumph. I celebrate for you and with you. To God be the Glory for what he has done, is doing, and will do for you and through you.

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