Every week, as SFGN is created from scratch anew, our graphic designer, Brendon Lies, who now lives in Germany with his dog Willow, tries to send me a daily visual of the paper as it is created.
This morning, a Wednesday, late in the process, since the paper goes to print tonight, I noticed the date read Aug. 5. It caught me off guard. Maybe I have been otherwise distracted these past few weeks, but I just realized today is the 10th anniversary of my mom’s passing. She would have been 100 years old this year.
I am simply not going to let this issue go to print without writing something about her life. I am just like you. I loved my mom more than anything in the world. She was my passion, my princess, my source of strength and love for 90 years. She cared for me not only as a child but as an adult.
Twenty years ago, when I was 50 years old and diagnosed with lymphoma, I was living alone. I began a painstaking and debilitating nine-month course of chemotherapy with a new roommate. Mom. She left her home in Tamarac to take care of me in Fort Lauderdale.
I was a child again. Mom fed me in the morning and diapered me in the afternoon. Do you know how special that was?
We each have special stories of our moms that we cherish. Let me share a few here today.
My most popular radio show is on Fridays, when I team up with the personable Mike Mayo, the retired journalist from the Sun Sentinel. We cavalierly talk food and sports, Brooklyn and life.
There is nothing more beautiful than when Mike talks about Mom Mayo and her matzoh balls. They melt in your mouth.
Now if you think I should be worried about my brain surgery last month or possible gamma knife radiotherapy tomorrow, consider this.
When Ma Mayo was in her 80s, she found out she had a malignant tumor in her brain, and with Mike and his family by her side, she underwent a cranial lobotomy. Today, she is homemaking meatballs.
Our graphic designer is from Fargo, North Dakota, not the most progressive place to grow up transgender. But when it came time for his surgery, Bren’s most amazing super mom, Jennifer, was by his side in Miami.
Last year, when so many of you were separated by your moms because of COVID, heartfelt Facebook posts celebrated your love for your mothers; the concerns, the cares, the agonizing pain you were going through.
One of my radio show’s most frequent guests to bring sunshine to our lives was the Vice Mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Steve Glassman. Steve is not only an incredible advocate for our community of all causes just and right, he has become a dear friend. A schoolteacher he once was. A mentor he today is.
Whenever I introduced Steve on the air to talk about the COVID Crisis, he would first say hello to his mom, living in a neighborhood assisted living facility he and his husband were not allowed to visit. A radio kept them together.
Then I think, too, of how for the past year, Robert Boo, the executive director of the Pride Center at Equality Park, was not posting the agency’s programs at the necessarily shuttered campus.
Instead, Robert was posting pictures of his incredibly loving mother at a nearby nursing home he was not permitted into either.
I am breaking into a newspaper nearly already laid out, and probably causing a story scheduled to be published today to be postponed until next week. Our moms are worth that.
So today is the 10th anniversary of my mom’s passing, and nine decades of life and love and laughter, from bungalow colonies in the Catskill Mountains of New York State, to Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, to terrifying condos in Tamarac, come to mind.
And a small tear comes to my eye, but a bigger smile to my heart.
And I close by taking this moment to thank whatever gods may be that I could tell this story right here, right now in a free community newspaper we all share, because you have invested in us for over a decade.
And I thank the powers that be, which enable a paper like ours, SFGN, to showcase and illuminate not only our own lives, but of all those we love and live for; who gave us the chance to become who we have become, and who we are.
So go about your day, and if you can, if you are still lucky enough to do so, say hello to your mom. There is no rule that says Mother’s Day only has to be once a year.
See you soon. Love you mom.