This I Believe

Nadia - 18034, Pennsylvania
Entered on November 20, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

“You must write a Will leaving explicit directions to whomever will raise your child”, my friend Kathleen suggested one day. “What if you and your husband drop dead or something?”

Explicit directions? My husband and I had never even thought about who would raise our child were we ever to “drop dead”.

It was a complicated subject that we had never seriously addressed.

I was raised in the muslim faith and my husband a physicist and born christian, isn’t very convinced that there’s anything out there.

We respect each other’s views about everything, which is the solid foundation of our marriage. We argue, we never preach, we never attempt to convert. We express, we accept, we understand where each is coming from and we love each other for it.

So who can raise her and play a pivotal role in defining her as an adult?

I decided it didn’t matter as long as I left “explicit directions”… to my daughter.

I began to write.

Please read “If “ by Rudyard Kippling.

The satisfaction of a job effortlessly done accompanied guilt as is any job done without effort.

Here’s my chance to let my daughter into her dead mother’s soul and the only “explicit direction” I have is someone else’s words telling her how to be a man?

What about being a woman?

What directions can I give? What experience do I have? Where will the world be when my eight month old is and adult? What advice will be valid?

Plagued by these thoughts I began as any parent would:

-Know that we love you very much. Unconditionally. We want to see you happy and successful in life.

And then the words flowed:

-We know that you will be on a life long journey to achieve both but never stop achieving even after you are happy and successful. It’s the journey not the destination that makes it all worthwhile.

-You are free to become whoever and whatever you wish to be, but please educate yourself. The more educated you are, the more well informed you are, the easier it will be to access your freedom to become that person.

-Whoever you’ll be, please be kind. Learn to respect people, despite their differences, as we have. Love mankind and understand where they are coming from, who they are and why they do what they do. It will be easier to live, love and forgive once you do.

– You will fall in love and it may result in heart break.

It’s O.K. you have not lived if you have not loved, but never lose sight of your personal goals or else you will not have done either. For it will never become past tense until you move forward.

I don’t know that I will finish before I “drop dead”. I also hope that she never has the chance to read it.

But this I believe and all I can think of to leave her with.