The purpose of today’s post is to you know a little bit about how I got here and who I want to be as I go forward; in sports and in life. Sports are wrought with men and women thanking their parents for being their inspiration and unwavering support system. My story is no different, I just happen to be behind a computer or in a studio rather than on the field or in a locker room.
My father was the one who loved sports. His fanatical obsession has yet to be rivaled by anyone else I've ever met. He wasn't just passionate, he was brilliant. He understood the nuances of the games, remembered every player and every draft and every trade. He grew up on the South Shore, and the harshness of his blue-collar Boston accent was tempered by a sarcastic wit that made him seem unflappably confident. He had an ability to make the people around him love him, even when he was mocking them.
I think I got that from him.
I can't always tell if I actually remember those things about him, or if I know them because of the stories from my Mom told me. She was always honest and never lied to us, but she also never let us forget what was wonderful about that broken man. His addiction isolated him and kept from the three people he loved most in the world until it killed him at the age 41. My Dad and I never actually got to talk about sports much at all, but through my Mom's recollections of the best and the worst of him I realized that it was the only steady happiness he ever had.
So my Mom always tells people that he was the inspiration for me going into sports. But he wasn't.
I learned from him that sports were a thing people loved. After that, I learned how to be passionate about things. I learned I was a talented writer and good with words. I learned I was competitive and enjoyed being surrounded by others with the same competitive spirit. I learned that if I worked hard enough, I could be a person that wrote and talked about things I love for a living.
I learned those all those things from my Mom.
She's the reason I knew enough about myself and what I wanted and who I was and where I wanted to go that I would choose to enter into a career path that is so difficult to succeed at and even more difficult to make money doing. She's the person who still believed in my intelligence and determination even when I’d made priorities of other youthful distractions. She’s the one who supported me when I got a call one day for a job on the other side of the country in Los Angeles.
When I was little, I told my Mom that she was different than other Moms. It seemed odd at the time but it was really my only way of expressing how much I appreciated her unique spirit and energy. She’s always been beautifully and extraordinarily different, and I have no idea how I got so lucky to have been born to her. I just know there's never been a day that I can remember that I didn't realize that she is special. I've believed that she is special since before I could even comprehend why.
My career path and life choices don’t make it easy on her. I still have to ask her for money all the time. I moved far away and can’t be home for family holidays. The difference in the time zones makes it difficult for us to catch up sometimes. I’m not the doting daughter that can pop in whenever she needs me. And the most wonderful part of all of it is that she knows me well enough to not want it any other way. Her love and support is truly unconditional, and I credit her with all of the best of who I have become as a woman, a friend, a girlfriend, a sister, a daughter and a human.
Mom, you are a shining light to everyone in this world that is lucky enough to know and love you. When I finally fulfill all of my dreams, it will be because of you. More importantly, because of you I have learned to be happy while I experience the journey.
Thank you for everything, I love you. Happy Mother's Day.