I know Mother's Day has come and gone. But it's coming up on five years after my mother's passing, and I've been thinking about this list for some time now. Here are some examples of the difference she made.
  1. An educated person
    My mother valued education most of all. She saw to it that I attended a private, progressive elementary school called Westland. She made sure that my classes in (public) junior high and high school were appropriate for me. Although money was a challenge for my parents during some of the time I was in college, she made sure I didn't have to work to support myself or pay my college expenses. She said that my job was "school."
  2. A lawyer
    See previous item re: education. Mom also taught me -- by her words and by her example -- the importance of using my time and energy to help those who need it, even when it involves making personal sacrifices.
  3. A baseball fan
    Mom grew up in Brooklyn. After my family moved from New York to LA in '56, followed by her beloved Dodgers two years later, she made the Bums the most important guys in my life. She also taught me how to keep score. To Mom's everlasting disappointment, I "converted" to the Giants in 1978 while I was living in San Francisco. I still live in the Bay Area and remain a Giants fan. But Mom forgave me -- or so I keep telling myself.
  4. A musician who occasionally gets paid
    Mom took me to my first piano lesson when I was four years old. Although I never became the concert pianist I think she wanted me to be (not even close!), she also encouraged my interest in pop music. That's what led to my becoming a member of the band Court 'n' Disaster. We have a great time playing lots of gigs around Sonoma County; we've released an album; and -- yes -- I'm still taking lessons because I still want to get better. Thanks, Mom.
  5. A mensch
    No one I know ever had a stronger, clearer sense of right and wrong than my mother, with the possible exception of my father. How could I not turn out OK?
  6. A successful husband and father
    See last item. Also, Mom was a complete role model. She taught me how to support and help my children. She showed me how to be a true partner to my wife, and how to make sacrifices with a smile. My marriage to @ouizoid is coming up on 35 years, and you can see how our kids turned out by following @gabimoskowitz and @jgmosko on this app.
  7. Happy
    Without the bar my parents set for me in terms of achievement, values, and love of family, life would not be worth living. My Dad showed me the way, and my Mom made sure I had what it took to get there. I was very lucky in the parenting I had. I wonder what others' experiences were like.