In the spirit of the upcoming holiday season, I have been thinking about how blessed I truly am. I might think differently when I nearly step on a centipede early morning or while I am receiving blunt criticisms from the Thai folk. Nonetheless, I have been given an incredible opportunity to learn, to interact with genuine personalities, and develop in positive ways. I have witnessed breathtaking sunrises, discovered the world under the sea and immersed myself in another culture. When I was a little girl, I never could imagine having such irreplaceable experiences.
However, that is not what I am most grateful for this Thanksgiving. In fact, I do not think I could be more grateful for anything else in this world.
I met my best friend when I was born. I was trouble right away- coming real late, giving her a bit of a fight. Despite that, I soon settled into my role as her sidekick. I’m sure I followed her around like a puppy dog, tattling on my three older brothers whenever possible or pretending to be helpful. Soon, I was old enough to attend school and that is where the gossip began. Throughout my school years, we talked about everything- boys, clothes, TV shows, and life. I looked forward to Phil Collins Saturdays and Sunday Sauce, knowing we had all day together to go shopping or curl up to a Lifetime movie. We sometimes fought when I tried to be someone I was not. But, she was always able to bring me back to my senses. She kept me out of trouble and filled my mind with ideals.
Then, it was time for me to go to college. Before then, I had not gone one day in my life without talking to her. I was nervous what would happen to our relationship considering I had never been this far from her. Who was I kidding? We grew closer as I learned more. We held significant conversations and dealt with real troubles together.
Before I knew it, three years later, I was back home curled on the couch with her. Even at the age of twenty, I still would prefer to fall asleep in her bed. We fell right back into the swing of things, although I struggled sometimes for my independence while she struggled to keep me safe.
The time came when my travels would start. I started in Ghana and made my way to Thailand with a short trip home in between. Boy, have I missed her. Nonetheless, she has been supportive of my dreams, putting her worries and selfishness aside. She has hopelessly listened to my tears through the phone, listened to me as I gloat about unbelievable experiences, and seen the worst side of me. She has dealt with frequent Skype calls as I ramble about people, places and things completely foreign to her. She has always been there, wherever there was. She made sure I knew I had someone to lean on at all times.
Because of her, I see the world in a positive light. Because of her, I have the confidence to be here right now. Because of her, I have so much love to give. Because of her, I know I am important.
No matter the circumstance, I will always be most grateful for her. For my forever friend, my Mom.