Submitted by Jess Stovall, Deena's daughter:
Ever since I can remember I’ve been trying to convince everyone around me that my eyes are hazel. For just as long, my mom has told me that she was so grateful that your brown eyes were passed on to me, because the rest of her children had blue eyes. Even though I’ve resented it a little bit, making everyone else confess that I have a little bit of green in them, I’ve realized what a blessing having my mother’s bright brown eyes really is.
Through these brown eyes, my mom sees the world in such a different way from everyone else. I’ve never come in contact with another woman who sees such positivity and good in everyone she encounters as my mother does. No matter the situation, she always has a way of brightening it; she brings joy, happiness, and an overall sense of relaxation and relief to everyone around her.
For someone with an easy life, this positive attitude would be a small task. My mother has had anything but an easy life. Mom has raised four of her own children, and three that she took care of after her former husband passed away, because their birth mother had already died of cancer. Before my little sister and I were born, she was raising 5 children on her own, as a single parent. After she met my dad, having two more girls didn’t make it much easier. That’s seven girls. Seven. At one time, there were five of us sharing a single bathroom. It isn’t a stretch to imagine the MMA fights she had to break up about who got to use the shower, when.
Aside from just being a mother, she is a businesswoman. For over 20 years, my mom owned and managed her own catering company in Evansville, Indiana out of our house. I grew up in my version of heaven. Everyday coming home from school, the smells of fresh baked bread permeated every room of the house. It was magical. Because of these childhood memories, and my admiration for my mother, I am currently in culinary school with hopes of becoming a caterer just like she was.
At times my mother was a single mom, a business owner, a fitness instructor, a cervical cancer survivor, a contender in the Miss Tennessee Pageant, in commercials for local businesses to bring income into the house, and a returning college graduate in her thirties. All seven girls see my mom as the world’s greatest chef, the most positive person anyone will ever meet, a shoulder to cry on, someone who will always be more excited about your successes than you are even when it doesn’t seem possible, arms to hug, and the best listener. More simply put, my mom is our hero.
The two youngest of the seven (myself included) are finally in college, and for the first time in over 30 years she doesn’t have anyone to take care of at home. Being an empty nester is a new chapter in her life, and after fighting through cervical cancer, the struggles of being a single mom, her newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis, and the recent death of one of her most treasured people, her father (we all called him Pops), she deserves a treat. She has spent her entire life caring for people, the least her daughters who love and appreciate her and look up to the beautiful, strong woman she is can do is try and win her this makeover.
My mom has been trying to look for work for a few months now, and has so far been unsuccessful finding something that both suits her interests, and uses and challenges her talents. I think giving my mom a makeover will not only bring her confidence when she’s looking for and interviewing for jobs, but also give her the spa day that she’s deserved for over thirty years now.
My mom is the best role model, mentor, caregiver, and friend any daughter could ask for. My mom deserves this. It is cliché to say that if it weren’t for her, I would be nowhere, but it’s true. I am following her footsteps in becoming a caterer even though she has never once said anything to persuade me into this career. I also plan on becoming a registered dietitian, and as a fitness instructor for decades, I think she had a big impact on my life that way too. My mom is the most important person in the world to me; to all seven of her girls. I love her so much, and I hope that as I grow older my brown eyes can see even half of the beauty the world as hers do everyday (especially if that includes a makeover from NBC!).
Please strongly consider my incredible mother, Deena Stovall, for this makeover.