To the Lady in the Black Hat,
You don’t know this, but I have been watching you all of your life. You may have caught a glimpse of me from time to time as I observed you from a distance. You almost caught me when my heart was so overjoyed it was leaping in my chest.
When I watch you – I am in awe of your delicate balance of femininity and strength.
You exude such confidence, most would never guess that you have an occasional doubt.
By observing you over the years, I have learned that you are the most genuine person I have ever known, so honest and real.
I see your generosity and your selflessness, always caring for others. Always ready with encouraging words for a loved one.
When I see your smile and hear the sound of your laugh – it brings a joy only a mother would know.
I see your proud country girl roots in your sweet – but tough independent spirit.
I watched the time you showed me you were so much more than my daughter.
It was the summer between your 7th and 8th-grade years, we were at the local Walmart. I heard a boisterous excited voice of a young lady call your name from the store entrance.
You looked in the direction of her voice and ran over to greet her with a hug. She was your age and had multiple disabilities.
She looked at you with such love and admiration. You continued to hold her hand after the warm embrace. It seemed she took comfort in you – you understood how difficult her life must be.
You told her she looked beautiful as you stroked her tangled hair. You asked her about her summer and told her how happy you were to see her.
You patiently listened as she stumbled over her words. You were totally engaged with her.
I watched – as you made her feel like she was the most important person you ever knew. I was in awe of you that day. In that moment I saw beyond the person I knew as my daughter.
Your behavior was not typical of a girl ready to begin the eighth grade.
As a parent, it would be nice to puff out my chest with selfish pride and say I taught you that. It would be a lie to take credit for the person I saw that day, the person I see in you every day. Your kind of spirit cannot be taught – it is just you, a genuine, loving soul.
It is my daily prayer to become a better person – to be more like you.
I want you to know how grateful I am for all the years I have watched you and the pleasure you have always been.
When I wear that black hat you left for me, I can only hope it transfers a power to magically help me become more like you.
Thank you so much for reading.
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