Stepparents, Grandparents + Aunts -- Oh My! | Letter to the Village Members

Stepparents, Grandparents + Aunts -- Oh My! | Letter to the Village Members

VILLAGE MEMBER | a caregiver; a guardian; someone who willingly takes on the role of a teacher to a younger generation; a family member; a neighbor; a coach; a protector; someone who positively influences the younger generation for their benefit

The role of a Village Member can be a thankless role. There are many times we feel drained or like we made a mistake taking on such a heavy role. Nothing seems to be working, because you see progress in one area + it appears several other areas come crashing down beside you. You knew when you made up in your mind to take this role that it would be difficult, but maybe you didn't anticipate just how much of a sacrifice it would be. 

The person {or people} you take care of/pour into/influence may not have the words to communicate what's going on with them right now. They might have unresolved trauma, they may be afraid, unsure of whether to trust you yet, because everyone in their world has hurt them. No matter how you entered this position, I want you to know that YOU ARE APPRECIATED! YOU MATTER! WHAT YOU DO MATTERS! 

This letter is for every village member to encourage you to keep going! As difficult as the past 5 months, 2 weeks, 5 minutes- may have been you took this role on for a reason. As long as you're able to manage {not causing health problems for you; not creating a situation that is worse for the people you're caring for + reasonably possible}, you have to keep going. You might be the only hope in their life. Those few moments you spend with them during practice or the few hours you spend with them until their parent/guardian gets home from work matter. 

It is for you today, Dear Village Member, that I write this...


Dear Village Member,

I'm not quite sure where I would be without you. You entered my life on such short notice, whether planned or unplanned, from the start you have been a guiding force. Your presence, knowledge, wisdom + sacrifice has been undeniable. Thank you! Thank you for being brave enough to step into the role you're functioning in. I know it isn't easy! I know you didn't ask for this role! I know it's a thankless role right now, but I want you to know that you're doing an amazing job! 

Your heart + passion shows in your every day response to the challenges of life. You give me inspiration to press forward! You believe in me when no one else believes I can do it! No matter how many times I fall, you re-assure me that I can get back up + be who I want to be if I work hard enough.



I can't put it into words right now, but I want you to know every boundary you set, every time you get up early or go to bed late because you're doing something for me - I appreciate it! Every conversation where you pour your heart out to try to get me to understand something - I appreciate it! Every warm meal you provide to make sure I'm satisfied - I appreciate it! 

Please don't stop loving me! Don't think what you're doing doesn't matter! It crushes me to hear that I disappointed yet another person, but one day I'm going to get it right! One day  I am going to make you proud. One day I'm going to be able to put it into words. 

Please continue to be patient with me. I know it's not easy helping me understand the world around me when I have so many other negative influences, but what you say matters! Despite what you think, I listen to what you have to say. It might take me a while to remember it in the heat of the moment, but I care about what you think. 

 I want you to do me a favor. I want you to remember to take a break. I know there is always so much to be done, but you're your best you when you have time for yourself. Offer yourself grace! Why? Because you know you're doing your best. Perhaps you don't have complete control of my life, but the parts that you can control are important. The way you've carried yourself in front of me has taught me to be strong. Please don't take your role in my life for granted. I need you! I need you so that I can be the best me! 

Can I share a secret with you? I admire you. I might not tell you that upfront, but I admire your courage, your strength, your values + your characteristics. When I get older + people ask me who the influential people in my life were, your name will be among the bunch. I want to be just like you when I get older. I know you might be thinking why I would want to be like you + well the answer is pretty simple....

YOU ARE MY PERSONAL HERO!

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