Monica Abbott pitching against Japan on June 25, 2019 in Tokyo.
It’s me, Monica, and I want to say thank you. Thank you. Thank you. What a year, what a process and a ride we have been on. But wow did we stay the course.
I don’t think any of us ever thought softball would have taken us this far when we were down at the Bobby Sox fields, but here we are a whole lot of years later and you both are supporting and helping me prepare for my second run at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
It started humbly enough, following Jess, my sister and our next-door neighbors into Recreation Softball and just being a tag along. But you all made it a family affair. That made it so fun for me – from mom as the team manager and dad as an umpire to the Fosters ice cream cart! I really didn’t know how good I had it.
From day one, your support and investment in us kids was incredible. Now, playing professionally for more than 14 years, I long for the days that you can be in the stands. Looking up to see the biggest smiles and knowing where you’re sitting because I hear Dad’s deep bellowing voice leading the cheers, and of course, my favorite moment, the post-game hug can’t be beat. But the games with family in the stands are few and far between as a professional. Now with COVID, we don’t have this chance so I’m writing you this letter.
All those years ago when I was playing right field and scared of the ball or the times when I was nervous on the mound with Dad standing behind the plate not wanting to mess up – looking back now it seems so silly. Mom, how did you do it? No, literally. You saw me through countless road trips. With the Storm, I was pitching five or more games in a day and I would fall asleep the moment we were in the car on the ride home. Sorry, I couldn’t stay awake, but seriously, how did you do it?
Momma, you taught me the true meaning of working for what you want. If I wanted the pitching lesson, I had to practice. You made me tough and determined. If I didn’t have a ride, why not ride your bike to practice. Dad, when I took my first job at Fosters Freeze to help pay for pitching lessons, you helped me learn the value of hard work.
You both taught me to be persistent and too most importantly to find a way when things didn’t go my way. These are some of the best lessons, a daughter could ask for. Thank you for being there from recreation ball to the pros. I. know we didn’t have a game plan for this journey. But we figured it out - together.