TCT’s The Countless Thanks: Abby Wright

My women – for being the village that raised me into who I am today

To the seven women who have touched my heart so personally, I owe everything to you guys. Most of you are not even blood-related, but you are my unconditional family nevertheless. Almost all of you were in the hospital room on the day I was born—Sammy with your stage makeup from the play you were in, Nina with your faded blue mom jeans, Molly almost running away because you were so afraid Mom was going to throw up—and you are all still here nearly 18 years later. And I am so glad that you are.

Molly, I am convinced that you are my actual mother just as you are convinced I am your actual daughter. I don’t think I will ever be 100% certain that we do not share any blood because I got your crazy hair, your humor, your height, your literal everything. I will always see you as just an older version of me, and there is nobody else I’d want to share my entire existence with. Thank you for laughing both with me and at me all these years. Thank you for taking me to my very first concert. And thank you for instilling self-love, being unapologetically yourself, and just a joy for life in me. I love you. -Fabab

Michelle, my other pseudo-mom, I think about you often and all those days I spent at your kitchen table beside our little family: Laney to my right and big Drew and little Drew to the left. You welcomed us into your home—it truly was a home—and those eight years are so precious to me. You were such an integral part of my childhoodI really grew up with you at your houseand I thank you for basically letting us live with you after school every day, for always forcing my younger picky self to eat new food, and for making every trip to Indiana so, so, so fun. Thank you for instilling such a deep love for that soft folk music you always played in your house in me. I love you. -Abbs

Trishia, for always being right across from me at the Thanksgiving and Christmas table, for always crocheting me the most beautiful pieces, and for always encouraging me to dye my hair when it seems nobody else wants me to. Your laughter, the French you speak with Mom and Nina that I’ll never understand, your strength, your passion, your intelligence, your diligence, your persistence… I admire it all, Trishia, and you have been an inspiration my entire life. Thank you for instilling all those traits that I admire so much in me. I love you. -Miss Abigail

Gail and Sammy, for just being a part of my life. My actual blood-related family is small, just nine people at every gathering, but my family is so much bigger than that. You guys are part of that family. Gail, for all those mornings on your swing on the driveway, for embracing and loving my frizzy, curly hair, for single-handedly convincing me I was always the smartest in the room. And Sammy, for single-handedly convincing me I was always the most important in the room with just one of your hugs. And for your bangs, and your laugh, and your voice that has carried late into the night while sitting in lawn chairs around a fire—a typical LaPorte, Indiana scene. I miss you both, and so does LaPorte, and so does the house across the alley from the one that used to be yours. I thank you both for just loving and supporting and embracing me all these years. I love you. -Abigail

Nina, for loving me so much that I feel it every single moment of every single day. For being so invested in my life and my dreams and my goals, for your hot chocolate and cream puffs on Christmas morning, for Christmas, for always having a bed and a spare change of clothes for me, for your snort-laugh, for keeping the frame with all of our birthdays on it that has Lily’s an entire year off, and for every other little and big thing. Nina, I’ve never had so much love for someone. If I was just a fraction of who you are as a person, I would be happy. I wish everyone had a Nina because it is the greatest gift this world has to offer. You always have been and always will be my hero. Thank you. And I love you more than life itself. -Abigail Van Buren

And Mom, for also loving me so much that I feel it every single moment of every single day. I don’t know how I got so lucky. I’m so lucky to even have this many people to thank, and I’m so lucky to have a mom like you. No one knows me like you do, and I’m so thankful you understand me on so many different levels, from my inability to shut my thoughts off sometimes to my innate ability to quote any Lindsay Lohan movie. Life is so fun with you in it, and I will never, ever take this life that you’ve given me, this life with you in it, for granted. I hope a day never goes by where you don’t know how much I love you, because you never let a day go by without telling me or showing me in some way. Thank you. And I love you. -Abs

Adah – for not hating me (I think?)

When I first started working, I thought Adah absolutely hated me (sometimes I still do), but she’s come up to the host stand enough times since then to just say “Hi” or for a check-in where it’s probably impossible that she does (I hope?). 

I’m so sorry you always get the worst tips ever, Adah, because you are one of the nicest, sweetest people I’ve met in a while. And you’re so funny, too; I will always remember complaining to you about something sucky that someone did and your immediate response being “I’ll kill them.” So, while to this day I still am not 100% convinced that you don’t hate me, I at least know that you would kill for me. So thank you for that, Adah, and for also being Sundance’s sunshine bright and early every Saturday and Sunday morning. 

Lily Klassen – for not hesitating to help me

The first two weeks of October were just not my weeks, and to make an extremely long five-part horror story short, I missed, like, a week of school. Missing all that school and being so sick, I was behind in every single class. One Monday, there was a huge ASL test on the national anthem, of which I missed all but one day of learning it. In a panic, and honestly at a loss of what to do, I texted Lily, and, no questions asked, she sent me a video of her signing nearly the entire anthem on her work break. It is solely because of Lily that I got an A on that test.

Lily, thank you for doing that. I will never be able to thank you enough, and I am so sorry that you were on the receiving end of my absolute panic and unpreparedness that late Sunday night. You are so selfless for doing that. Seriously. You are so appreciated, Lily, and I’ve loved learning ASL with you these past two years. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Oh, and Mrs. Anderson, if you are reading this… no you didn’t. 

Lynlee – for literally everything

Hey, mamas!!!!!!

I think about us not being in the same state next year, and it absolutely breaks my heart, but something tells me that no matter the distance, we will remain the same. You, Lynlee, have been one of my only constants throughout high school, and that alone deserves a million and one thank you’s. We spend so much time together, probably too much time together, but I don’t know any other way—and I don’t want to know any other way. 

We were meant to know each other, I think, which explains our connection—our ability to sit in comfortable silence, our ability to sit in anything but silence, our ability to text each other anything that’s on our minds, our ability to laugh so hard we pee ourselves over things that nobody else finds funny, and our ability to always find ourselves at a smoothie place or the Culver’s line. I feel like everyone needs their person, and I can wholeheartedly say that you are mine. You are my best freaking friend, more than that, honestly, and I can honestly, truly, completely say I would not have survived high school without you. 

You are so human, Lynlee, and getting to know you and love you these past four years… thank you for letting me in, and thank you for never turning me away. You are a forever friend. I cannot possibly sum up how much you mean to me in the words that are so fickle sometimes. You know that as well as I do. But you also know that I love you because I don’t think I’ll ever let you forget that I do. 

I truly do not know what I would do or where I would be without you. I love you forever, and I’m so glad our paths crossed four years ago in the room that started it all. You are the greatest gift to come from TCT and from this life. Frog tattoos?

Sarah Wordhouse – for being my sunshine

Oh, Sarah. My Sarah. I thank the universe for crossing our paths all those years ago—the stars surely have seen the two of us keep each other afloat the past four years. They’ve watched us crack the funniest jokes we ever have on the way to the busses, they’ve watched us cry in the movie theatre and then fall asleep in your twin-sized bed listening to the soundtrack, they’ve watched us mother Bari (Bear-y? Barie?) and stuff anything we could find into his little backpack, and they’ve watched us just laugh and laugh and laugh. But most of all, they’ve watched our forever friendship flourish, and I like to think they smile every time we share our words with each other, because, really, that is what started it all. 

You grabbed me by the hand that first day in WFP and have not let go since; despite the physical distance between us, our friendship has not faded, and for that, I will always be so thankful. You are an inspiration, Sarah, my inspiration, and you are a HUGE reason why I want to pursue journalism and spend the rest of my life writing, writing, writing. 

I love you, Sarah. So freaking much. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me and continue to do for me. I hope you know how much I love you and appreciate you and how proud I am for everything you’ve accomplished. You are the reason the stars shine so bright. 

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