a result I did not have a chance to honor Friday, April 18th. This is an
important day to me. You may wonder what significance this day
holds. In history, this this the day in 1942 when Jimmy Doolittle led his
raid on Tokyo. In 1906 there was the Great San Francisco Earthquake.
Conan O’Brien and actors James Woods and Rick Moranis all celebrated
birthdays. 79 years ago another person was born on April 18th who would
have a profound effect on my life; my Mother. Her name was Janice Marie
and she was perhaps the kindest, most loving human being I have ever
known. She always saw the good in people. Regardless of the enormous
list of character flaws, she would always point out what was good in another
person. Never one to draw attention to herself she sacrificed without
regret for her family and always thought of others first. She was also
right up there with my father as one of the most quotable people I have ever
known. Some of her sayings were odd but strangely true like, “You may not
remember where you went or when it was but you’ll remember what you ate.”
Other quotes were more profound. “When all your friends have gone and you
feel alone and deserted, your family will still be there.” Above all else
she was a believer. She believed in her faith, her family, and in the
underlying goodness within humanity. My mother always encouraged me,
particularly in my pursuit of writing. Even when I was told by others that
I was wasting my time writing, she told me my work had merit and that I should
keep striving to do better…as long as I kept a day job to pay the bills.
For years she pressed me to publish my work but I never felt it was ready.
Then she came down with cancer and went through treatment. She told me it
was in remission and flew out with my father to see me and my family.
Everyone could see how sick she still was except me. I wanted to believe
the story. My mother went for a drive with me one night and told me she
had shared parts of my first book with friends and they loved it. She made
me promise to have the book published. After so many years I was surprised
by the sudden rush. To borrow a line from “West Side Story”, my mother
“…Never asked the time of day from a clock.” But she was asking, in fact
pleading with me to publish my work. So I promised. When she
returned home she went straight into hospice and I never saw her alive
again. It took a few years but I have kept my word by releasing my first
two books with more to come. Somewhere out there I like to think she is
proud of me. I know that I am proud to be her son.