Welcome back to our blog, today we have something genuinely heartwarming for you. The story of our Golden Knob recipient, Sharon Smeltzer. Sharon was nominated by her friend Kelly who wrote to us about her dear friend. She wrote how Sharon had spent her life as a daycare provider spreading her light, love, and warmth onto others while providing peace of mind for parents and a safe place for them to take their babies. As Moms that rely on daycare, we know how important it is to know that your babies are in good hands while you work. We also know how hard it must be to look after numerous toddlers a time. The patience and kindness one must have is out of this world and a gift. So we picked up the phone and gave Kelly a call. I knew after my conversation with Kelly, Sharon would be a great fit for our Golden Knob Initiative, so we set a date for our meeting, and that is where it all began.
When I arrived at the house a man named Steve answered the door, I explained who I was, and he told me the ladies were in the other room waiting. As I walked into the living room I saw Sharon and Kelly sitting in anticipation. I automatically knew this was going to be a great experience because of their giant smiles and the positive energy radiating off of them. I hugged both women and sat down to hear more about them. Sharon proceeded to tell me she thought that Kelly was playing a prank on her, and she was being Punked! They then explained to me that they liked to play pranks on one another, especially on April Fools Day, haha!! They told me about their stories revolving around these pranks, which made me laugh quite a bit. Sharon’s sense of humor was delightful.
We then got up, Sharon and Kelly proceeded to give me a tour of the home, introducing me to Jason Momoa, AKA Aquaman, Sharon’s life-size cardboard cut out, man crush, hottie!!! I learned about her love for the Titanic and was guided into her tastefully decorated Victorian-style living room, displaying all things Titanic. It was at this time Sharon opened up to me about her amazing husband of 28 years, the love of her life. I learned that he had passed away five years ago, breaking her heart. She told me stories about his involvement in the different clubs here in Reno and how deeply he had loved her son like he was his own. Her husband was a great man; their love was inspiring to hear about, so sincere and genuine. Sharon continued to tell me how that was the most challenging time in her life because after her husband passed away, she experienced a great deal more, losing her mom, dad, a sister, and a friend. Hearing this brought me to tears; I could feel and see her pain as she talked about this gut-wrenching time in her life full of darkness and sadness.
As we continued with the tour of her home we chatting about life and loss and the meaning behind it all, all while Sharon continued to make jokes and laugh. As we walked and talked, I thought to myself, “This woman has it together, there is nothing I am going to be able to help her with.” She then led me down a hallway with a few doors, the first door led to a beautifully decorated guest room, also known as Nana’s room, and then we entered her organized and well-decorated master bedroom. After the master bedroom, we had one room left to see, and that was it, the room where everything landed that didn’t have a place in her home, the shove it in there until I have time to deal with it room, also known as the room that will one day be a space for creating and crafting.
As I walked into the room, Sharon explained that she didn’t use the space and hadn’t even been able to walk into it for years. It had become the room in her home she tried to ignore. I looked around the space and thought of all the potential it had, with just a little bit of love and time I could make this into a functioning room for her. I proceeded to ask her if she would mind if I spent some time there while she and Kelly hung out in the living room. If she would trust me to take care of her belongings and to help get the space organized and workable. Sharon said yes, as tears of happiness ran down her cheeks.
After 4 hours, I transformed the space from an overbearing, cramped, unorganized area into a place of purpose and meaning. It became a space for Sharon to craft and create, look through old photos and remember all the beautiful moments she had had in her amazing life. I called on my right-hand man, my husband, to come and haul away the big stuff that was cluttering up space, her life, and Sharon’s emotions.
After I finished, I revealed the room to her and Kelly. Their reaction was priceless. They both plopped down on the bed, overcome with joy. After seven years of friendship, this was the first time they had been able to sit on the bed and enjoy. We spent a few minutes enjoying the space together before I had to leave to pick up my daughter, from daycare. I left the two friends sitting on the bed, in a freshly organized space, ready for Sharon to start somewhere with her crafting.
As I left Sharon’s home that day, a feeling of pure joy and happiness swept over me. I felt so blessed to have met both Kelly and Sharon, to have been apart of there afternoon, laughing and chatting. What I realized from this experience that when you stop and take a moment to connect and embrace those around you, in your community, those are the moments that will have the most significant impact on your life. We created the Golden Knob Initiative to give back, do good and touch people’s lives positively. I would never have thought how much it would affect my own life. Thank you, Kelly, for leading me to Sharon and thank you, Sharon, for all you have done for the young people in our community. You are indeed an incredible blessing!!!