Wanda, ol gal,
I don’t know when this letter will reach you. Admittedly, you probably have a few other things on your mind at the moment so I hope that you find your way to this letter precisely at the moment that you need it most.
I’m sure when you imagined this moment the last thing you thought to factor in was a hurricane. Can you imagine, if that was part of the birth plan they covered in What To Expect When You’re Expecting? “Don’t forget to account for natural disasters, acts of God, and just plain bad luck.” (Though perhaps they do; I’ve never had cause to read the book so I’m flying blind here with this joke.)
Though I don’t think it’s bad luck. Ill-timed, perhaps. Undesirable, most likely. But definitely not bad luck.
Your daughter has the best of beginnings. Every year on her birthday, you can tell her this story: how you waited for days, watching the flood waters rise, how you called the hospital and laid out a plan in exacting detail, how you worried yourself sick, how you prayed, how you held your breath, how it felt to finally see the sun again and know that she was still safe inside you. However her story unfolds, whoever she grows up to be, she’ll always have this auspicious beginning. Every heroine needs a good origin story and what better way to come into the world than as a force of nature?
Do you remember that time we wrote that list of things that we wanted for our future? I wanted six piercings and five tattoos. That’s all I remember from the list. I’m sure there probably were other things like publish a novel and fall in love. I can say with certainty that have a baby in a hurricane was not one of them. (Probably? Now I’m second-guessing myself.)
Ten years is a long time to be friends with someone. I’ve been there for a lot of your big moments. I’ve seen you cry a lot. I’ve seen you have your heart broken. I’ve seen you fall in love. On my end, I definitely have more than five tattoos and I haven’t published a novel. But one thing that’s never changed is how fearlessly, unapologetically authentic you are. You live loud. You love boldly. You are a force of nature yourself.
Welcome to the world, Delaney Joy! I sure am happy you’re here, I can’t wait to tell you some stories.