My Words to Your Heart By: Nailah Lee Like many did in the 1980’s, I loved watching The Cosby Show. I loved the characters, the storylines, and the humor. Recently I told a dear friend that the day we lose Bill Cosby will be a very difficult day for me. As a child I watched the show for reasons others may not have. You see I didn’t grow up with my father so every Thursday night I would have 30 minutes to imagine Bill Cosby as my dad. Not in replacement of the one I have, but encompassing the behaviors I craved and desired as a child. As young girls we desired consistency, love, humor, discipline, and a solid stable relationship from our fathers. This week I picked up my favorite magazine and read an amazing letter of encouragement from the Editor In Chief to his adult daughters. Affirming them and giving them words of encouragement as they have now transitioned into women. As I read these beautiful words I began to think, “What about the young woman who never grew up with her father?” I grew up with a very strong mother and by no means is this indictment on her or any other single mother but as strong and hard as you are or were, there is nothing like the relationship between a girl and her daddy. But as life goes on, we women who were once those young girls hoping and wishing for their fathers must now pick up the pieces of life and move on. But as you move and continue to move each day, allow me to encourage you with my words. I hope they touch your heart. You Are Beautiful and Made in Wonderment Each day my husband tells my daughter how beautiful she is. As the first man in her life, his words are crucial to her self-esteem as she blossoms into a young girl. I want you to take hold of the fact that you are beautifully and wonderfully made. Go out into this world strong knowing you can conquer whatever it is that God has for you to do. They say ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, so look in the mirror and celebrate the beautiful woman you are. Never Compromise The lack of the father in the household has led many women settling for “less than” acceptable men. Many women have abandonment issues without realizing it which has and will lead to damaging relationships. You know what settles? Dirt in the ground! Not a woman set aside for greatness who can only accept a man as equally compatible. So if you are hauling around “dead” weight, release it! Move on to someone who acknowledges and loves the woman you are. Love Him and Trust Him Don’t allow the past to dictate your future. All men are not created equal so don’t judge each one by the mishaps of one bad apple. Without the father in the household it may be hard to trust a man due to inconsistencies you grew up with. But ladies trust me; it’s time to live free! The bondage of childhood will only hold you back if you let it. I am thankful that as a woman and mother I have a relationship with my father. Even though it has been 16 years since our reconciliation, we work at it each day because it is still new, for me at least. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband who also grew up without his father, but is diligent in giving our children everything he wished his father gave him. Now as I watch The Cosby Show, I do so with no expectations besides laughter; because as I have grown and matured I realize that the beautiful, powerful, trusting woman has always lived in me and guess what? She is also living in you!