This Is What I Imagine My Dad Would Say To Me On Graduation If He Were Still Here

 Millie Clinton
Millie Clinton

You know I have never been one for writing but I know you and your mom always pushed me to try so I will do my best to put all these thoughts into words. I hope I impress you. It’s not so easy like it was when you were little. Although you are much better at faking happiness when you get a gift than you use to be, because everyone could tell when you were unimpressed. I do not have an extensive vocabulary and I was never one for grammar. Although I do think I’ve had enough time to figure out the right things to say so here goes nothing.

I’ll start with this I can’t believe you are graduating college! Not because I didn’t think you’d be able to, but because to me you are still that little girl who bolted out of her room just to give me a hug when I came home from work. It always made me sad when one day all of a sudden you stopped doing that, but I wasn’t mad, you were growing up. Then BAM one day all of a sudden you became this beautiful, educated, and talented woman. Just wow. I get so choked up thinking about it. Yes, even up here that still happens.

I use the word adulthood as opposed to the real world like so many others do when the topic of graduation comes up. You my dear have lived in the real world for a very long time, and I mean that in more than one way. I don’t think college students get enough credit. You had to take five to six classes a semester, have a job, spend time at home, and have a social life at the same time. If that’s not a close enough depiction of the real world I don’t know what is. Plus, I can confidently say I would have never been able to do that. Ask your mom she will tell you how lazy I was and never really meant for school.

The second way you have been exposed to the real world for too long is from losing me. I know you make jokes to ease the tension when the topic gets brought up to make it look like it doesn’t hurt as much, but sometimes I wish you would let your guard down fully to the people around you and stop being the one that needs to make everyone else feel comfortable. Your loss is not taboo; your loss has made you who you are. It has made you wiser, it has made you stronger, and it has made you more sympathetic to what others are going through. From something so negative you came out on top, own that always.

Now for the hard part, I am so sorry that I could not physically be present for you in these past ten years, and I know how hard it was in college without me. It pained me when you went through your first heart break, the times you bombed a test you studied so hard for, and the hangovers I so deeply wish I could have made fun of you for. But the times that pained me even more that I couldn’t be there were for all the times you laughed so much with mom that you had tears in your eyes, the moments you were recognized for all your hard work, and all the times you were faced with the decisions and took the high road.

All of them the good and the bad I wish I could have wrapped you in the warmth of my hugs that you talk about with mom still.

Always watching with complete pride. My sweet little girl there is so much advice I have for you, it will take more than this one letter to fit it in. So I guess I’ll have to write to you again. But for now I’ll leave you with some things that will help you after college.

Your mom is ALWAYS right, don’t try and figure it out, you’ll attain the same powers when you have children one day. I already know you are aware she is the best person in your life, but even during the times she annoys just always know she only wants the absolute BEST for you. Do not let anyone ever hold you back. I mean that when it comes to your friends, your family, and most importantly MEN. Please don’t let people ruin your ambitions. If you want to go do something, you go and you do it. Always find something you love about yourself. There will be days when you nothing seems to go right and you might hate yourself find one thing you love about you and it will make things easier.

Your family is your family. You can’t choose them and sometimes they will irritate you till no end, but you love them anyway. You do on the other hand get to choose your friends. Be wise with whom you choose and whom you let in completely because some people will take advantage of your kindness. It has happened to your mother and me far too often. Be whoever you want to be, because at the end of the day all you have is yourself. Never change for anyone, if they don’t like you as is, let them go. Always believe in love.

People ask you for help all the time and you never think anything of it. What makes you think those who love you most would ever judge you for needing help? Always work hard; never expect anything to be handed to you. Even if it can be handed it to you it never really feels quite as good as when you work for it.

Most importantly, this is what I want you know right now in this exact moment. You are on this planet to do something great, you are meant to be here even if you don’t know the specific reason yet, and I never want you to forget that. That is all for now my baby girl. Give your mom a hug from me, and let her hug you back hard even though it annoys you sometimes, you are her best friend. Remember I am here even when you don’t always feel me, and I love you more than you’ll ever know. You WILL be great, on your graduation day, and after. TC mark

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