We have family. We have friends. And some of us have a Sharon.
What or Who is a Sharon? Well, she's a person who doesn't quite fit into your genealogy tree like your sister, mother or grandmother would. But she still serves those roles. She isn't quite a friend either. She didn't sit in your early morning Calculus class in college, didn't pledge you into the sisterhood of your sorority or didn't have to bear with you and console you on your latest boyfriend fail. But she still manages to fit those roles too.
I know a lot of you read my divorce blog and were shocked to discover what I was dealing with. Sharon is an extension of all my recent experiences, in a good way. So let me tell you about her.
I met Sharon several years ago, when my son was just a tiny little shrimp attending pre-school. Sharon's son attended the same pre-k. Our kids got along great and had several play-dates. They pretty much grew up together as they attended the same schools, camps, etc.
I also loved stopping by Sharon's house, especially after she moved out to a neighboring city. This is the home she was finally able to call her own, at almost 50 years old. There was never a shortage of delicious foods at Sharon's house. NEVER. Stopping by on Thanksgiving was my favorite. You know she had it all - the baked macaroni and cheese, collard greens, stuffing, turkey...the whole nine yards.
There was a time in my life when I was at my lowest. I felt ashamed of myself and had pretty much isolated myself from friends, and even family. That time period I felt like I had lost everything - my kids, my husband, my job, and, I also lost myself. I lost the sense of uniqueness that made me stand out in a crowd. I lost the drive and discipline I felt every morning I woke up to hit the gym and prepare to compete. I lost my intelligence and my strong attachment to my need and quest for knowledge. I felt inadequate, insufficient, lacking, lost, incompetent.
I was at the brink of finishing my Master's degree and had aspirations to continue on to my PhD but because of all the above, those dreams were pretty much flushed down the drain.
I walked around with my head down. I was in a fog.
I also had to do laundry. I was too embarrassed to go to the local laundromats and be seen in public so I asked Sharon if I could go over. It would also help me save some money. Walking into Sharon's home back then made me feel at peace. She never once requested any money from me for using her washer or dryer. She never once judged me. She listened. And I could sense she felt sorry for me.
That was the beginning of my strong bond with Sharon.
Over the years, when things started to pick up again, Sharon stuck around. I would invite her son over for sleep-overs, cooked her and my kids breakfast, and came by her house whenever I had laundry to do...it was my excuse to spend time and feel the bond of having an extended family. Sharon didn't know it then, but she was taking the role of a mother/aunt.
My mother/aunt Sharon...let me tell you more about her.
Sharon's complexion is like dark chocolate. Her skin sits with the elasticity and smoothness of a 20 year old. She takes good care of her curly locks and has worn the same hair style for as long as I've known her. I know I said before she didn't judge me. Not once. Not ever. I have never in my life met such a non-judgmental woman. Her ability to see good and maintain faith when most would lose it is incredible. I sense she might have had some experiences in her life that allow her to be who she is and what she is to so many people. I know for a fact Sharon is not a mother/aunt to just me. I just know it.
Sharon ain't afraid of hard labor. Nope, no sir. I've seen her outside shoveling snow like even my ass can't. I've seen her carry bags from here to there, to everywhere. I suspect she has done this type of stuff all of her life. She also isn't afraid to do what she gotta do in order to make ends meet. She would hold a job here, 2 jobs there...whatever it takes to bring home the bacon.
Why am I writing about Sharon now? Because I am grateful that I have one like her in my life.
Let me share some more.
At some point last year I had to make a decision. One that I knew would define the rest of my life and would affect me for months and months to come. When I had to move out of the residence I shared with my husband, I was left pretty much homeless. Sure I had the choice to pack it up and move to New York, but the thought of leaving my children behind made me feel sick to my stomach. I didn't have much since I had left everything I owned behind. I just wanted to leave with my dignity and my head up and not revisit the low point in my life I was at years ago.
I reached out to a couple of "close friends" to help and, typical situation, they couldn't even sympathize with me. It was cool. But I had nowhere to go.
At the very last minute...and when I say last, literally the 12th hour of me having to be OUT of the previous apartment, I contacted Sharon.
She said, sure, come on.
Sharon has not only offered me shelter when I needed the most but let me tell you what else she's done for me.
She's been like a grandmother to my own children. She's looked over my daughter like she was her own. She keeps a watchful eye on my son. And when she sees fit, she'd extend her non-judgmental advice the way a mother would to a daughter. She also feeds my children when she knows I'll be a little late or busy at the gym.
And you know what the cutest thing about Sharon is, the one thing she does that sends me laughing hysterically even when I'm feeling a little sad? She keeps a hawk-like watchful eye on me while I'm dieting! Oh yes, she would snatch food I'm not supposed to eat right off of my hands, or chase me around to house for it if she has to. She knows by now what I'm supposed to eat and what I'm not supposed to eat. She wants me to win. And she supports anything and everything I do. Like a mother would.
I write this because mother's day is coming up soon. Sometimes I feel like I don't do enough to show my gratitude to those in my life so I write. I think I get my point across pretty well through writing. I know she will read this...because I will send her the link to it. LOL.
And when you read this Sharon, just know that you have given me what no one else has. You are like a mother to me, and I am forever indebted to your generosity and gratitude.
If you someone that fits the role of a Sharon, like the one I have, I urge you to thank her. Be grateful you have someone like her in your life. If you don't have someone like her, I do hope you come across her/him in your lifetime.