The day my first born turned sixteen, so many fears loomed in my heart. She was finally allowed to have a boyfriend, she was legal to get her license, and it was when she declared that she wanted to go out-of-state to college. She said that she wanted to go to a Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU) but because of her track record, I wasn’t all the way confident in this decision. Due to the fact that I was a teen mother, Destani has always been glued to my side. I would always tell her that she was my motivation to succeed, and that she was going to have the same life that her friends did whose parents could have been my parents. We went through every obstacle together, my best friend, and in turn she is a Mommy’s girl. Now that I am on tour, if I am away from her too long she is calling declaring how much she misses me. When she is sick, sad, and/or hurt she curls up in my bed with her stuffed animal “Bunny” and waits for me to fix it. This is why I had reservations about her being away from me.
Now here we are, 1425 miles away from home and buying last-minute items needed for her college dormitory. My feelings are all over the place. I am proud that she got accepted into 9 universities and had the privilege to decide which one that she wanted to attend. I was excited that she was being responsible and assisting me with getting everything together. I was just scared out of my mind that I was about to leave her. My body shook as I helped her unpack and get her room together. The reality was hitting me that I was going to leave my baby!
I stayed in Texas for several days trying to make sure that everything was finalized before I left. My last day was approaching quickly, and we both were dreading it. It was just as hard for her as it was for me, and everyone around us could see it. We both were secretly shedding tears so that the other wouldn’t see, but you could see the pain in both of our eyes. When I woke up that last day, I had a knot in my stomach. I went into the bathroom and cried, not wanting my youngest daughter to know I wasn’t okay. I fell to my knees and prayed to God that he would continue to watch over my baby and protect her.
Once I got myself together, I woke Diamond up, and told her to start getting herself together so we could head back home. I went around the room making sure that everything was in order when I heard my text message notification go off. It was a message from Destani. The message read as follows:
Mommy, you raised me to be strong. If I don’t like it I will come home, but I am going to try for at least a semester. You instilled a lot of courage, strength, and survival skills into me. I am proud that you have went after your dreams. Now it is my time to make you proud. I love you.
The words that I read was a confirmation that I needed to let go and let God. I did raise her to be a magnificent young lady. She has made me proud on so many levels. I taught her right from wrong, but have always been open and honest with her. I let her know of my mistakes and downfalls. I showed her that with her hard work, perseverance, and constant prayer that anything was possible.
After reading her very mature words, I thought of all the times in her life that she has brought a smile to my face. Now it is her time to implement all of the knowledge that I gave her. I know that life is not perfect and she will have some obstacles along the way, but I am confident that she will continue to succeed.
This is my tribute to my baby girl….
I love you Destani Imani
Once upon a time when she was young……
My diva at prom
Hugging my baby for the first time after graduation.
Excited that she graduated
Dropping her off at her dorm room for the last time.
Destani and Bunny’s first night in college
My baby is officially a college freshman.