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Dear Young Tomika,
As I write this letter to you, I know you are way too young to understand what is happening to you now, but I want you to understand that you will partake in a journey called life unlike anyone you will ever encounter.
Being abandoned by your mother is not an easy subject to discuss with you at any age, but it is your reality now and will continue to be for the rest of your life. Your reality will make you depressed, bitter, resentful, feeling alone and extremely defensive at times. Your moods will change often and you will find your self never really understanding WHY this happened to YOU. You will yearn to fill the void that is within your soul on a daily basis, But as these events take place, you will need to stand.
There will be great times, uncanning memories and accomplishments that will make life worthwhile. Then there will be times that your life is unexplainable and the events that flock around within it never seem to provide reassurance that better days are coming. Then there will be people you will meet people that have undoubtedly sufferered tramatic situations, but it will appear as their situations nor pain can never compare to yours. As these times arise, you will need to stand.
You will have glorious days and you will have days where the sky opens up and a tsunami proceeds with no end in sight. Be mindful your days may begin with a thunder storm and end with a rainbow across the sky that will provide you with a glimmer of hope that things are beginning to brighten up. These occurrences will take place, but you will need to stand.
You will one day meet your mother Tomika for a short period of time, and this time will be in a circumstance of turned tables. Now she will need you. This meeting will not foster much understanding of the WHY she left, but just allow you to be in the moment, which is all every child wants when it comes to their mother. Remember… this is only a short period of time Tomika….You will need to stand.
After the short meeting you will experience the death of your mother due to AIDS. You will be distraught and again you will come to a point where you cannot comprehend WHY this is happening , but through her demise you must stand.
Your life will move forward and you will move through many years of never really understanding why anything that has occurred in your life has happened to you. You will wonder WHY YOU and not someone else, never really understanding at time the PURPOSE for your experiences. Even on your most discouraging day, you will stand.
What you can’t see since you are so young is how bright your future will be. You cannot see that one day you will have two beautiful daughters that you will have to raise and nurture and teach to be women despite all the things your mother didn’t teach you. You cannot see that you will grow and reach milestones that you never dreamed of . You cannot see all the people you will touch and the children you will reach.
Your journey will begin as a crawl and increase to a 100 yard dash from pain and heartache you have withstood. Your edurance and obedience to stand when difficult experiences hit you head on will be a clear example of the resilience that has been built up and placed inside of you to survive.
Standing through your reality will help you build your resistance against the pain. Your reality will always be like a stake in your heart, but it will allow you to build a resistance that will allow you to distance the pain from your heart until you can find a place of comfort. Standing will allow you to process the pain in a therapeutic way rather than physically interalizing the pain and feeling the point of the knife pierce your skin.
You were chosen Tomika, as harsh as it may sound, to be abandoned. You were chosen to experience the hurt and the pain. You were chosen to help others who have had your same expereineces. Through all of your transparency you will write, speak and teach about all that has burdened you so people can connect to you and learn from your resillience.
Tomika your ability to stand through the most painstaking times of your life and live to tell about it will clearly model your purpose for living.
The Older Resilient Tomika
Aprille Franks-Hunt decided to create a powerful film about her personal story as a rape survivor in hopes to shed light on a personal topic that many are forced to suppress. She knows without a shadow of a doubt that this film has the power to change how women view themselves all over the world. We will not stand down – our voices will be heard! You can support the film here.