A love letter to Denise
First, I love you for everything about you, and I think that you are one of the most beautiful people that I’ve ever seen. I love the way that the sun illuminates your skin — the natural glow that gleams effortlessly among the pigmentation of your melanin. It is the most beautiful shade of brown and earth, and when I feel overwhelmed and insecure in a sea of white, it is the first thing I want to see to wrap me in its embrace.
Undoubtedly, you are my biggest and best supporter. I will never be able to put into words how thankful I am for everything that you’ve done for me. Whenever I am sad or low in energy, a phone call from you is all that I need to uplift my spirit. Your kindness and humor is medicine for my ever-racing mind, and I know for a fact that I would not be whole without your butter voice helping me hold it together.
I thank you so much for wearing your hair natural, instilling in me a love for my roots. You were, and continue to be, my hair inspiration. When I felt lost in my pursuit to reclaim agency over my own self-esteem and appearance, I was able to look no further than your crown of coils for assurance and ease. I thank you for accepting me for who I am, in all of my flaws, errors, messy rooms and dirty laundry baskets. You give me so much grace, more than I deserve, because you always try your best to be compassionate to my young adult struggles. I strive to always pay you back the same love, and I hope that one day I can grow into a heart that is as big and forgiving as yours.
Your blood runs pertinent and sure in my veins and, along with that, from our elders and ancestors, is the essence through which I strive to ground my strengths in. It is through generational resilience and perseverance that I am made, and I give honor to the example of unwavering solidity that you have set for me.
This letter will never be enough to fully capture how much love I have for you, but I hope that this dedication will give you even the slightest sense of the admiration that I have for you. I love you dearly.