Tuesday, April 17, 2012

She Made So Many Sacrifices

As I sat last night watching Hannah play softball, I kept thinking about how much I wish she didn't have a game last night.  Physically I felt terrible.  Between muscle spams and the fire running through legs, it was difficult to sit on those hard bleachers.  I'm so exhausted emotionally and physically that it's hard to even sit up at times.  I also was in no mood to sit there and have idol chit chat, pretending I was okay and having to fight back tears.

But I was determined I was going to be there.  It seemed like a small sacrifice to be there to support Hannah, show her I love her and let her know everything she does is important to me.

While sitting there my thoughts started wandering to when I was in the 4th grade, and I came home one day and announced to my mom I wanted to try-out for the cheerleading team.  Her first response was, "I'm not sure your good enough."

Now she didn't mean I wasn't a good enough person.  She was pointing out I had never done anything like that before and she wasn't sure I had the skills to make the team.  So we made a deal.  If I would practice hard every day for the next two weeks, I could try-out.

I spent hours practicing, and my mom would say, "Do it again" for what seemed like a hundred times as I would stand in her bedroom and do the cheer I had planned to do for try-outs.

I made the team.

What I didn't realize at 9 years old was what a hardship that put on my mom.

My mom worked two, sometimes three jobs to just feed and clothe us and to make sure we had a roof over our heads.  Now she was faced with having to find the money to buy material to make my uniform and to buy shoes, socks and my shirt I had to wear under my uniform.

She never once complained to me.  Not even when she and my aunt Kathy spent several evenings working to make my uniform after she had worked so hard during the day.  Actually neither of them complained to me.  They would start working shortly after my aunt Kathy got home from work and would work on up into the evening.

She managed to pull it all together and had everything I needed just in time for the first pep rally.

I changed schools when I started 5th grade, and she let me try-out for the cheerleading team once again.  When the numbers were called for those who made the team, my number wasn't announced.  All of the moms went to my mom and told her there had to have been some sort of mistake.  I should have made the team.  When I got in the car I started crying.

My mom was prepared to go to battle for me.  "I'll get to the bottom of this", she said.  "I better not find out they passed you up because you are new to the school.  Everyone knows you should have made that team."

I begged her not to make a scene.  I told her she would make things harder on me to try to fit in there.  She promised she wouldn't say anything.

A week later we found out there had actually been a mistake.  I had made the team.  They actually had announced the wrong number.  I was number 13 and they had called 14.  The girls who had done the judging were on the Tech cheer squad, and once they realized the mistake I had already left that day.  One of those girls was determined to find me.

When my mom got the phone call there had been a mistake, she was faced once again with having to find the money to buy material to make another uniform and to buy new shoes, socks and a shirt.  And once again, she never complained to me.  She and her friend Reba made my uniform that year, and by the first pep rally she had once again managed to get everything I needed.

As I sat on those bleachers last night grumbling to the Lord, I realized my sacrifice to be at Hannah's game was nothing compared to the sacrifices my mom made for me to do something I really wanted to do.  Maybe she did grumble to other people.  I think she had every right too.  She never once complained to me though.

My mom worked so hard to make sure we had everything we needed.  We never went without anything we needed, and she often would try to find some side job to make extra money so we could do some of the things we wanted to do.  She went without many times so we could have what we needed.  She never complained to us about how hard she had to work.  She taught us how important it was to have a good work ethic and to work hard.

I will forever be grateful for the sacrifices she made for us and for the priceless lessons she taught us.

And my mom always said, "I couldn't have done it without the Lord."

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