Like many mother-daughter relationships, Sarah Blanks and her daughter Abby have a special one. Along with a deep love for each other, the pair also share a love for Taylor Swift.
Mother Sarah claims she was a Swiftie first.
"She was going through the same thing I was — heartbreak, friendships, friend struggles, you know, it's all portrayed in her music," Blanks, who is around Swift's age, said.
It did not take much to convert daughter Abby.
"I shared, 'Shake it Off,' I think was the first one with my daughter when it first came out in 2014. She was 4. And she would just dance and shake it off in her car seat and it's just been a love story ever since then," Blanks said.
Like her mom, Abby has been drawn to what Swift sings about.
"I just feel like as I'm getting older, I can go back and listen to her music that she made when she was struggling with the same things that I am now," Abby said.
The pair have made several trips to Swift concerts — including the opening of her current Eras Tour.
As Abby approached her 13th birthday this year, her mom reached out to fellow Swift fans, known as Swifties, with a special request.
Blanks wrote a social media post asking fellow Swifties to send in cards to help Abby celebrate.
"Being a teenager is hard. Being a teenage girl is even harder. She's had a lot of struggles this past year," Blanks said. "All I wanted was to give her the best 13th birthday."
Blanks said she expected about 20 cards to arrive.
But more than 250 were delivered from around the world.
Mom decorated the walls with the cards to surprise her Swiftie daughter.
"I didn't think the cards were actually, like, actual cards. And then I started opening some, and they were actual cards from people all over the world. I was just completely shocked," Abby said.
Among the cards, were things like friendship bracelets and jars of her quotes.
For Abby, the experience was a lesson in community.
"I just think it shows that you don't really have to know someone for them to care about you," Abby said.
"I have cried multiple times just thinking about it," her mom shared. "I know I personally have struggled finding a community that supports me and I know that being a teenager is difficult to find a community. So I think it's important to be able to show her what it looks like."
Blanks and Abby said they'll continue to watch Swift shows on tour and hope to be able to meet some of their fellow Swifties who helped make this a reality.
This story was originally published by Cameron Thompson at Scripps News Richmond.
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