journaling: "mom's beautiful brown skin remembered 06.29.07. complexion of a beautiful woman. this picture is blurry. but it reminds me of the story you once told me. about a young filipina. how the other kids in school use to make fun of her, because of her dark complexion. she was “itim”. her sisters were fair and she was not. so it meant she wasn’t pretty. the little girl grew up struggling within her own skin. but never the less, nothing could stop her adventurous spirit. she could not be kept from playing out in the sun. in fact, her favorite past time was climbing high up in the tallest trees and even up to the rooftops she’d be.
and so, when she had her own little girl, she let her dress however she wanted and dance around the house. and if her daughter wore two buns on the side of her head and wore green metalic boots, she would laugh, step back & take a good long look at the young lady before her with a warm smile. then, she’d lean in for that long embrace of unconditional love. it was a story about you.. and it breaks my heart today. because i wish i was there to be your friend and tell you how beautiful you were then. so i must tell you now, how i’ve always loved your soft skin and your warm embrace. how i have grown up loving your brown skin and how i’d marvel at how mine was just a shade darker than yours. that your warm embrace has lingered in my heart for all these years, like my favorite song, Video, by India Arie. I wish I could sing it for you now. or play it for you when you’re sad. “When I look in the mirror and the only one there is me. Every freckle on my face is where it's supposed to be. And I know my creator didn't make no mistakes on me. My feet, my thighs, my lips, my eyes; I'm lovin' what I see! “ ...strength, courage, laughter, and compassion are the qualities you’ve instilled in me. you’re the woman that i admire most. so when you are feeling not so pretty, look up to the tree tops, remember your courage, and love yourself, because god made you just they way you were meant to be."