By Tina Knowles Lawson
To Beyoncé, Solange, Kelly and Angie
When I was asked to write an open letter to you, I thought about the hundreds of texts and emails that I have sent to you on holidays and on Sundays, when I ask you to say a prayer to thank God for each other. Every day, I wake up thinking about how much I love, admire and cherish each of you.
I gave birth to two of you, but I have four incredible daughters. Writing this brought to mind all the ways you guys have been such a blessing to me.
When I’m feeling sad or not-so-cute or maybe a little sorry for myself, and you all include me in your group chat and tell me how hot I still look or how cool I am. Maybe you send me a crazy YouTube video. What actually works best is a cute photo of my grandchildren.
I remember slumber parties after my divorce, when we watched old movies and ate a lot of ice cream. I felt so loved and supported. The roles were reversed, and it was ME who needed nurturing.
I remember my first date when every one of you weighed in on what I should wear.
The obvious things about all of you are apparent. You are all strong, beautiful, intelligent and smart businesswomen. You are so much more than that. You are all kind, generous and you treat people well. You are all amazing mothers, wives, daughters, sisters and friends. All of you have total self-respect.
Beyoncé, I wish people could see how you are when you’re not in front of the camera or on the stage. How compassionate and kind you are to people, how you look them right in the eye when you speak to them. How hard you work, how generous you are with your time and money. How you don’t care if anyone knows about it because you do it from the heart. I wish they could see you with the Make-A-Wish Foundation kids, how patient you are and how your love has helped to extend lives. Yes, you are a huge star, but you have somehow managed to stay grounded and humble in the wake of all your success.
Solange, I knew when you were born three days late that you would walk to the beat of your own drum. You were always my rebel warrior! Always defending the underdog and fighting for what you believe in. I remember you, at 10 years old, started a petition to remove a bad teacher, and your dad and I were so proud of you. I love that you do not let others define who you are, or what you are. Whether in your music, fashion or your life, you truly are your own incredible, unapologetic person! As tough as you are, you will drop everything to take care of someone you love.
Kelly, I know without a doubt that you were a true gift from God. You came to live with us when you were only 11 years old. You were the sweetest, most kind person I had ever met and you still are. You are also a true survivor. You never give up. Your discipline and drive always inspires me. You make me want to take better care of my body and constantly motivate me to exercise and take time for myself. You have the best listening skills and are a loyal friend to many. I’ve seen you take the jewelry off of your arm and give it to someone because you wanted to make them feel good.
Angie, you are my niece, but we have always been more like mother and daughter! You were always so mature, always challenging me and questioning why. (Fortunately I never believed in the “Because I said so” or “I’m the adult” crap, either.) I always trusted that you would look out for and protect Solange, Kelly and Beyoncé, and you did! You still do sometimes. You are so smart and perceptive, and you see through bullshit right away! You’ve always had our backs. Our own family fixer!! You know I call you Olivia Pope!!!!!
I’m often asked, what was my most proud moment? I would have to say it was at my recent wedding, when all four of you said in your own words that I taught by example and that I helped to make you the women you are today!!!! That was truly my proudest moment!
All my love,