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My Mother’s Day

January 3, 2012

By Ross Mitchell

Today’s my mother’s birthday. And with this being the holiday season this is the occasion I celebrate the most. This is a woman who, when times were tough, went to work at a job that didn’t pay her enough and didn’t appreciate her for all that she is worth. This is a woman who instilled a tireless work ethic in my brother and I. I admit there are many occasions on a daily basis when I neglect what I need to do, but she taught to follow my dreams and to pursue them relentlessly. She, more than anyone else encourages me to be what I work so hard at being. She believes in me, in my talent, in who I strive to be.

My mother was Music teacher turned personal banker, turned Financial Officer. She is the most ravenous, diehard Wisconsin Badger fan this world has ever and will ever know. As loyal as I am to Ohio State, when they go head-to-head with the Badgers, I secretly find myself routing for Wisconsin to pull out a victory even though they are out-skilled, out-manned, out-coached, and out-talented. And though I will draw the ire and verbal abuse from my brother (another Wisconsin grad) and my friends, I happily embrace it because I know my mother will smile.

The same can be said for the Chicago White Sox. By all rights I should hate them. I should look down upon them with despair and resentment. After all, they won the World Series in 2005 when everyone in the city had been waiting nearly 100 years for the Cubs to break their “curse”. The South Side loyalists were granted the blissful experience of November triumph as their North Side brethren watch in horrified shock, sickening dismay. But not me, no. “I never thought I’d see it,” she said as I returned to my childhood home that night, “I never thought I’d see the White Sox win the World Series in my lifetime.”

In 2009-2010 I was successful in indoctrinating her into becoming a Chicago Blackhawks fan. I find it no coincidence that they ended their 49 year Stanley Cup drought with her on their side. She’s always been my good luck charm, always made me a better man than I should be. I still recall with perfect clarity the delight in her eyes when her favorite player Dustin “Buffy” Byfuglien scored 11 goals in their historic playoff run (despite just 18 in the regular season). I will never forget the pure glee she experienced as she clapped and kicked her feet each time he put a goal past Roberto Luongo in the Vancouver series (including his hat trick in Game 3), or when he flattened Chris Pronger in Game Five of the Stanley Cup finals.

And Joakim Noah, you can thank her for dubbing you a future “Hall-of-Famer” when its all said and done.

I am writer, and it is with no shame that I say there are no words that I can express to properly summarize just how special, just important, just how wonderful my mother is. There is no one I respect more, no one who I fear letting down greater, no one who makes feel better about myself. She has always been honest with me even when I don’t want to hear the truth, and she will not rest until I have reached my potential. I love my mother, I am not ashamed to say so publicly, and I do say so proudly. I only hope that I can make her as proud of me as I am of her.

Happy birthday Mommy. You truly are the best mom a kid could have.

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