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Hi Mom!

Lombardi's Way Hi Mom!

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17+ Comments Nancy says I'm a week late in viewing this, but better late than never. I'm a 58 year old mom to two boys who carry my heart in their hands everyday. I know from this love
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For years TV cameras have zoomed in on football players along the sidelines after they’ve scored a big touchdown. Some engage in trash talking, others pound their chests and some hold up that famous digit.

And then there are those who simply say, “Hi Mom!”

It’s a very simple response to the presence and pressures of the camera really. It’s also very honest and genuine because when you stop and think about it and you remove all of the other distractions, fan hoopla and window dressing, the most vital, natural, safest and essential connectivity to another human being is that to our mothers.

I lost my Mom on September 27, 1989. She was 51 years young. There has never been a day since when she’s escaped my thoughts.

When you lose someone that you love dearly, particularly your Mom, there is a journey that nearly everyone travels in order to complete the mourning process. In many ways it’s like a one-year cycle during which you experience their birthday, your birthday and all of the holidays in a calendar year without them. You reflect upon the memories and it’s those memories that keep them alive in your mind, heart and soul.

I’ve learned to deal with my Mom’s passing, perhaps more so than my Dad and my sister. I’m comforted by the fact that she didn’t suffer much when we lost her in those final days and by the wonderful relationship, which I’m so blessed to have shared with her. That’s not to say that my Dad and sister didn’t share that – they absolutely did and they adored her. Maybe I’ve just rationalized her passing a little better than them and I know she’s in a better place free of the ailments that took her from this state of consciousness.

That being said, the one day during which all that rationalization and all that acceptance of her passing flames out for me is on Mothers Day. In my own private way, I still say, “Hi Mom”, yet on Mothers Day I’m reminded that the mourning isn’t over and perhaps it never will be.

It’s funny in an unusual way that I never think to go to the cemetery to pay respects to my Mom during the year except on Mothers Day. I can’t explain it. I don’t go there any time during the year because I know she’s not there. She lives within me. Yet on Mothers Day, I feel compelled to go to her burial site and say hello. Maybe I’m just jealous of all of you who really can go to their Moms and say, “Happy Mothers Day Mom” and give them a hug and a kiss.

David Gates nailed it when he sang:

I would give everything I own, just to have you back again…just to touch you once again.

Wow!

I want to share with you a few quick stories about my Mom I guess in part as an ode to her memory. I hope you are compelled to share a few of yours too!

My Mom didn’t come to many of my little league baseball, football or basketball games. That was something that Dad did while Mom tended to my younger sister. But when she did come, I remember her quiet pride. You could see it. Mom was never one to boast to other parents or to other aunts and uncles about my sister or me. She believed that good deeds and success stories spoke for themselves and by not boasting about them, the accomplishments were more pure and if the accomplishments truly deserved, others would speak of them without her prodding. That’s a lesson I’ve carried with me.

Once in a little league game, I tripled three times. And while that sounds like a pretty good game, I was devastated. You see my Dad was the third base coach and each time I rounded second heading for third, Dad waved me home. Each and every time I was thrown out at the plate. After the last failure to stretch a triple into a homerun, I laid face down at home plate, pounding my fist on the dish that I failed to reach before being tagged three consecutive at bats.

Dad of course picked me up and told me to get my glove and get back out on the field. Mom after the game simply said, “That was a good game and your team won.”

Even at the age of 9 those words cut through the air and I realized how silly and selfish I had been. My team won and that’s what mattered most.

Fast forward to my late 20’s, just a year before Mom passed. I played fast pitch softball for a team called Tom’s Tropicals, the fish store on Bel Air Road near Joppa Road. We were playing in Salisbury, MD and I was staying with my parents, sister and brother-in-law at the Calypso on 62nd Street in Ocean City. It was a weekend double elimination tournament. Our team was still alive so we were to play again on Sunday following a couple of Saturday wins.

At that time, we wore red jerseys and I asked my Mom to wash my uniform for me. Now just prior to me moving out of Mom and Dad’s house, my Mom had developed this habit of screwing up my laundry. Any time something faded or bled in the wash, the clothing belonged to me. So I asked her to be careful in a slightly sarcastic way never thinking that she would screw it up again.

She did.

My long white sanitary socks that we wore under our stirrup socks turned from white to a beautiful shade of pastel pink. To this day, I can picture her pulling those socks from the wash in that Calypso condo, holding them up and saying, “Uh-oh.”

During Mom’s burial mass, Fr. Vincent Gluc, a friend of our family and former teacher of mine at Archbishop Curley, used a wonderful metaphor comparing life on Earth to a caterpillar. When we pass he said, each of us enters a stage comparable to that of the caterpillar’s cocoon only to emerge as beautiful butterflies in the next life.

A few summers after Mom’s passing I was standing at the tee of the sixth hole at Pine Ridge Golf Course. As I was addressing the ball, a stunning butterfly seemingly came from nowhere and landed on my chest and stared me right in the eye. It just sat there for a moment that seemed like an hour. I remember smiling and saying, “Hi Mom.”

And with that, Mom flew away towards the direction of my fairway target.

I don’t think that I’ve ever hit a better tee shot before or since.

Enjoy your Mom on Mothers Day. Make her feel special. She deserves it because let’s face it, when life boils down to its simplest equation, there’s no bond greater than that between a Mother and her child.

Happy Mothers Day to all Moms everywhere.

You are the essence of life.

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin to being John Bonham. Follow Tony on Twitter @RussellStReport. More from Tony Lombardi
17 comments
Nancy
Nancy

I'm a week late in viewing this, but better late than never. I'm a 58 year old mom to two boys who carry my heart in their hands everyday. I know from this lovely story, that you also, held her heart in your hands. And with regard to whether this applies to football, I think it does in many ways, because so many outstanding football players are playing professional football today, because so many were raised by single moms who worked more than one job, to provide for their sons. They encouraged them to reach their potential and live their dream. Our beloved Ray Lewis was raised by a single mom; and perhaps the one most focused on at present, is Jacoby Jones' momma. What an amazing woman, working hard and encouraging her beloved son. Where would he be today without her? And, for Baltimore, where would the Ravens be. So, God Bless you for recognizing moms, and every time I see the "Hi Mom" sign from the sideline, I smile, knowing there's a wonderful mom being remembered and thanked from her son on the sideline. For those who "don't get it," I feel for their ignorance, and not understanding the importance of a mother in the lives of children of all ages. And I question their right to check off the below box, that they are in fact, human.

JerryB
JerryB

Beautiful sentiment, Tony! Thanks for sharing!

Tony Lombardi
Tony Lombardi

Dr. E, how about, "No!" We'll keep it the way it is. If you don't like it, you have options.

Tony Lombardi
Tony Lombardi

Thanks for all the support and most of all thanks to all of the Moms.

Josh
Josh

I'm sure your mom is proud of you, TL. Godspeed to you and yours today.

Kathy Hoatson
Kathy Hoatson

That's why his name is Dr. Evil. If it wasn't for moms there would be no football players. Hence, no football. Keep up your good work.

Chip Riddleberger
Chip Riddleberger

Tony, Great piece on your relationship with your mom and the importance of mother's day! Your story about your uniform socks takes me back to my youth baseball league days when my jersey became an 'off' color in the wash. Nevertheless I wore it to my next game and ended up having my one of my best games of the season: 4 for 4 with 2 doubles and the game winning solo homer. Mothers truly are with us as we travel through the journey of life. EVERYONE should keep their mother's close to their hearts on this special day and throughout the year!

Dr. Evil
Dr. Evil

Please keep this page for football Only.

Pop
Pop

Thanks Tony. A great touching and meaning piece.

Jack
Jack

Tony Great article I am fortunate to still have my mom with me. Mom is 77 and going strong but I appreciate every day I have with her because as you know, life is short and you never know. I will give my mom and extra hug in memory of your mom and hope everyone else out there appreciates there mom and show it to them not only today but throughout the year! Stay strong my man.

Dr. Evil
Dr. Evil

Nobody cares about your mom but you. Leave these pithy essays for your therapist. This is a Ravens site. Keep it that way.

Tony Lombardi
Tony Lombardi

Thanks for sharing Chip. GREAT story! I hope you and Donna are doing well!

Boldin Raver
Boldin Raver

Dr. Evil Grab a Snickers ... You're not yourself when your hungry.

Tony Lombardi
Tony Lombardi

Sorry that you don't get it and as for your request, that would be "No!" Sound that buzzer please.

Tony Lombardi
Tony Lombardi

Jack thank you so much. And while you are hugging your Mom, give her a little added umph and let her know it's from me. She's raised a good man!

Chip Riddleberger
Chip Riddleberger

Doing great Tony. I'm enjoying the Eutaw Street Report site as well. Looking forward to touching base with you as we get closer to the season. Your site is a "must have" for rabid Ravens fans such as myself.

william
william

God Bless you Tony!!

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