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Dear Vonnetta / Dear Kayla (Part 1)

Dear Vonnetta,

What was it like?

When you were a little girl, and your imagination wandered, where did it go?

As you adventured and explored, what did you find?

What words did the grownups whisper in your ear as they tucked you into bed?

What were you afraid of, Vonnetta?

Did you feel safe at school? At church?

Who were the people that comforted you? What about the ones that caused you to worry?

What truths did you cling to?

What lies did you internalize, Vonnetta?

Where did those words, both true and false, originate?

How do you tell the difference?

When did you realize you’d have to be strong, Vonnetta?

When did you realize you’d have to stay tender?

Could you tell what people expected of you?

Did you try to meet those expectations?

Who made the rules that you followed, Vonnetta?

Did you speak up when others dismissed you?

Did you bite your tongue so as not to upset the status quo?

Who on this earth has made you feel most seen? Most known? Most loved?

Where do you go when you need to be reminded of who you are, Vonnetta?

Is there any place in the world where you find yourself continually returning?

What is it like to be you, Vonnetta?

When your imagination wanders, where does it go?

As you adventure and explore, what do you find?

What words do you whisper gently as you tuck yourself into bed?

Thank you for being a light in this dark world, Vonnetta.

Your life -- your very existence -- matters to me.

All my love,


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