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A Bridge Among the Flowers

Letters to Our Queer Youth

By Shirley BelkPublished about a month ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2024

To my dear and beautiful granddaughter,

I've needed to write this letter to you for a long time now. I just didn't have the words. I'm not sure if I even do now. But this is my feeble attempt. Forgive me if I don't use the proper pronoun or gender when I am referring to the "you" that I know and love. I'm new at this and still very confused in my "Boomer-ness." I think you already know that I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around these concepts. But it doesn't minimize my love and adoration for you.

You popped into my life as my first grandchild and I was over the moon. Your cute little face was like chocolate to me, and I wanted to eat you all up. You made me laugh and smile and I wanted to give you the moon and the stars. You made everything "right" in my world.

Your love for me was evident, too. We loved spending every minute together that we could. You were my person. And when my other grands came along, they all just blended into Nana's garden of beautiful flowers, each unique and special in their own rights. Each one fits in perfectly and is "included."

When I looked at you, my little flower...I saw someone who loved their family with their whole being, passionately and unyielding in loyalty.

I also saw a romantic dreamer of sorts who loved to read, write, and draw. (And was very good at all three.) You were a mystical, old soul in a petite blond body.

The laughter and love within your eyes filled any room with a sweet aroma.

This has always been your essence. No matter how many tattoos you might have, or how you choose to wear your hairstyle, in color or length; no matter what you might wear...either baggy "manly" clothes or "feminine" feathers, your essence doesn't change who you are.

You need not my approval nor my acceptance to be the "you" that you want others to see, the "you" that you approve of and accept as "yourself." Be the best essence you can be...the outside hardly matters, anyway. Love yourself and love God, too. Love others...even the "difficult-to-love" ones.

Know that I will eternally love you, my sweet and lovely grandchild!

I hope all youth (especially the ones who might be going against the grain of a society in which is considered the norm,) has a family and friends that loves them unreservedly and eternally, too. There is no room for hate in a world that was meant to be full of love.

I pray that God will provide a hedge of protection around your bodies and your hearts, as well as my grandchild's. Nobody has the right to harm you!

This letter comes from my heart, the old Boomer, the Conservative, the Pro-Lifer, the Christian, and all the other pronouns and descriptors in which you might not understand or agree with, either. Love will find a way!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As Oneg In The Arctic states, "And so, this challenge is a meaningful, impactful, and even personal one. We want you to join us in making a difference. Even if it validates just one queer youth. It takes one to change the world."

So, this Boomer wants to take this time to make a difference in the life of her grandchild and other children struggling to find their true identity with this message...your essence is valuable, worthy, has much to offer the world, worth fighting for and protecting. May we all be kind and seek to understand one another.

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About the Creator

Shirley Belk

Mother, Nana, Sister, Cousin, & Aunt who recently retired. RN (Nursing Instructor) who loves to write stories to heal herself and reflect on all the silver linings she has been blessed with :)

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Comments (31)

  • J. Delaney-Howe3 days ago

    Very heartfelt and real. Thank you for sharing, Beautiful.

  • Judey Kalchik 6 days ago

    Your letter is a loving and honest one. Thank you for sharing it with us all.

  • Loved this piece 🩷 Thank you for your support of your granddaughter!

  • Congratulations on having your story featured as a top story on Vocal! This is a remarkable achievement, and it's clear why your work has received such recognition. Your storytelling is truly exceptional. The narrative was not only compelling but also beautifully crafted, holding my attention from start to finish. The way you developed the characters and plot was masterful, making the story both engaging and thought-provoking. Your unique voice and perspective shine through, setting your work apart. It’s evident that you poured a lot of passion and effort into this piece, and it has certainly paid off. I look forward to reading more of your incredible stories in the future. Keep up the fantastic work! Best regards, Dr. Jay

  • Such a supportive and heartfelt piece!

  • Every child is perfect in every way they are. Great piece Shirley

  • Denise E Lindquistabout a month ago

    Great Shirley! Congratulations on top story🎉🎉🎉

  • Hannah Mooreabout a month ago

    It's lovely to read this from you Shirley.

  • Dabasish Palabout a month ago

    I happy with your exciting stories. Watch my stories❤️

  • MrZabiabout a month ago

    Amazing Story ❤️

  • angela hepworthabout a month ago

    Such a beautiful, touching tribute to your grandchild. It is clear how much you love them, Shirley. Brought a tear to my eye.

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Kingsley Gomes, PhD.about a month ago

    Hey Shirley, This is such a beautiful letter! Your granddaughter is so lucky to have you in her life. It's clear how much you love and support her, no matter what. The part about your "garden of flowers" for all your grandkids really got me. What a lovely way to describe your love for them all. I also loved the message about loving yourself and your essence being what truly matters. That's something everyone needs to hear, especially young people figuring themselves out. This is a powerful message for anyone who might be feeling lost or different. Thank you for sharing it!

  • Carol Townendabout a month ago

    I sensed a lot of caring emotions in your words. I also sensed acceptance. This is a beautiful piece, written from the heart. I felt warm as I read it.

  • Musulyn Mabout a month ago

    This was so cute

  • Paul Stewartabout a month ago

    This is just beautiful, Shirley. A deserved Top Story and just heartfelt letter.

  • Kelli Sheckler-Amsdenabout a month ago

    Beautiful Shirley. Congrats on your top story

  • Raymond G. Taylorabout a month ago

    Enchanting tale and congrats on the TS

  • JBazabout a month ago

    Well said, with dignity and beauty also with understanding and of course love. Te most important of all. Congratulations

  • Darkosabout a month ago

    So beautiful and touching ❤️🩷🌞 Congratulations on Top story !🌷

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Lovely and lovingly written!!! ❤️❤️💕

  • Christy Munsonabout a month ago

    Lovely letter, Shirley 🫶🏻

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    This was so touching and sweet! Would they be reading this letter? I hope they do! 🥰🥰🥰

  • John Coxabout a month ago

    Love’s waters run deep and true. This is a beautiful letter from a brimming heart, Shirley!

Shirley BelkWritten by Shirley Belk

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