Keep it Real Wednesday
September 2, 2020
Back in the 1970’s, prior to cable TV, sports were only viewed on 3 stations – ABC, NBC and CBS. Wide World of Sports was broadcast by ABC once a week, usually on Saturdays. Live interviews with athletes were rare. When an athlete knew the National TV camera was on them, their spontaneous reaction to the camera was saying “Hi Mom!” My Dad often joked and laughed at that but deep down I think that frustrated him. Why would a football player after catching a touchdown pass turn to a live camera and say Hi Mom? I think somehow he thought that Dads deserved that recognition. Back then I didn’t think much of it but after several decades of reflection I think I understand it much better now.
Back in the day, long before club sports and specialization, we played ALL sports that changed with the season. Dad worked long hours and often traveled leaving Mom to take me to and from daily practices. She would arrange carpools with other moms to load up these big box looking things we used to call station wagons which could fit almost an entire team! Game days were always special because Mom always made sure my uniform was crystal clean. Win or lose mom was always in the stands cheering me on. Dad was there when he could. I know he did his best to be there as often as he could but his work travel increased as I got older. During one difficult season, I had complex knee surgery at a hospital in a city 350 miles away. For almost 8 weeks, my mom visited me every single day while staying at night with good friends in the area. Jill remained at home with my dad and Grandma O’Malley Rosie’s mom. You see Jill was a caregiver even as a young teenager. For those of you that know Jill well are not surprised at this because you know she has a HUGE heart and her and Wade and family have been Rosie’s primary caregiver since our dad passed in 1995. I am so very grateful for them!
The Blessing Bike is truly a gift from God Himself. A few short years ago we all thought mom was on the verge of dying. We gathered around her to say it’s ok to go because she has so much to look forward to in heaven. Well, as you know, nobody tells Rosie what to do. She rose up in all her Irish might and has been the beautiful face in the story of The Blessing Bike for the past two years providing nearly 50 Blessing Bikes to those in need. I’m sure there are days when she doesn’t feel up to another ride but she and Jill do it anyway for the benefit of others. Living a life in service to others is truly a life worth living.
So at the end of the day why did athletes say “Hi Mom!” on live television back in the 1970’s? The simple answer is because Mom’s deserve much love and recognition for selflessly serving their families. I know my mom does!
I love you Mom!