A lot of people on Facebook have been doing the “30 Days of Thankfulness” for November, which is awesome. I especially love reading my friend Dan’s, which range from deeply heartfelt to completely hysterical. One of my favorites was “Day 10: I am thankful for having a perfectly-functioning body with all of my limbs, the ability to walk, and with no diseases to fight. This is something I too often take for granted.” Seriously, that’s SO true! Actually, a couple months ago, I started this little book where I wrote down “Things That Make Me Happy”, and I take it with me everywhere. The same sort of thing applies when I start thinking of things I’m thankful for. I know the first thing that typically comes to people’s minds is their family, as it should! That is definitely at the top of my list! More specifically though, I am THANKFUL and BLESSED, to have a mother named Sharron Abell. Let me be a little more specific…
Growing up, I had a wonderful life, and an amazing childhood, there’s no doubt about it. I have my mom and my grandparents to thank for that. When I was two, my Dad had decided that our family was not a priority or a necessity in his life, so my parents divorced. People always get weird when I tell them that, like, “Oh my gosh I’m sooooo sorry!” And to that I just have to laugh. I guess because I grew up never knowing him, I never missed him. It’s not that my mom never spoke of him or anything, and if I asked questions she was more than willing to answer them for me. Nor did she bash him, though, or speak ill of him. He was just kind of…absent. Which honestly, was fine by me since I had an amazing grandfather and great male role models at church to look up to, (That means YOU Grandpa Tom!). I never wanted for anything.
As a kid, I was, to put it mildly, a handful. A little bundle of blonde sass. My mom, being a single parent, pretty much got all of it! She worked full time, and STILL managed to put food on the table and get me the best Barbies. A TRUE, real life Wonderwoman. Growing up it was always me and mom, mom and me. Grocery shopping, birthday parties, you name it. We were the Gilmore Girls, (and JUST as hilarious). She knew all my crushes, she could complete my sentences, I mean it was like we had ESPN or something! When I hit middle school, like most angsty teens, I became a grade-A nightmare. We fought all the time, I blamed her for ruining my life, blah, blah, blah, you all know the spiel. The thing was, through all of that, she somehow taught me that there was really no point in staying angry. All it did was make you feel like crap. Pretty much one of us would end up apologizing before bedtime, and I would be the one crying because hormones sucked and I had terrible acne.
When I hit high school, everything kind of evened out. But in typical high school fashion, I started thinking that I knew it all, that I didn’t need mom anymore. Everyone knows that’s the FURTHEST thing from the truth! I had my little “rebel phase” where I broke curfew and stayed out too late and got up to goodness-knows-what. I went through my fair share of being grounded, especially from Junior year prom. Oddly enough, it was because of all our yelling and screaming matches that we became closer. I think somehow I managed to mature faster after going through everything we did.
After graduating high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, so I chose to go to community college until I figured it out. You know what happened? My mom didn’t pressure me, she supported my decision. Clearly, she had her opinions on everything, but she always said that I had to figure it out for myself, by failing or succeeding, what path I should travel down. When, the January after I graduated high school, my Papa passed away suddenly, everything changed. My Papa was one of the only men in my life who had never disappointed or hurt me. I credit him for teaching me majority of my life lessons, (he also graciously passed down his lead driving foot as well), and there was a huge hole in my heart after he died. Slowly, without me realizing it, I let myself sink into a depression. Things got really really tough for me the next couple years. I tried and failed at college, for some reason it just wasn’t working for me, probably because I never seem to do things the “normal” way. I know it was extremely hard for my mom to see me go through that, especially since I know she was hurting, and she felt like she had to be the strong one for our family. She has been the anchor holding us down for us for so long. Seriously, she is Wonder Woman! With time, we’re healing, and the hole in my heart is being filled with other joys, like photography, the love of friends, and especially the love of Christ.
As I sit here writing this, with tears pouring down my face, and my nose becoming an unsightly shade of Rudolph red, I can’t help but feel like I am the luckiest person on earth to have this incredible lady as a mom. She gives until it hurts, she loves even the least of these, and her love of serving is infectious. I cannot say thank you enough to her, there is no gift I could give that could even come close to expressing my gratitude for all she has done and is still doing for me.
On this day of giving thanks, I want to give my mom a hug and a high-five, but most of all, I want to say:
I LOVE YOU.