If you’re reading this, odds are you likely checked in with me in one way or another — and I appreciate it. I wanted to briefly let you know I’m thankful for the thoughts/prayers/well-wishes/memories you have shared in recent days. I wish I could individually respond to you all. I might even try, but my early attempts at that have mostly ended up with me being in tears.
So know that I’ve read/seen everything and am appreciative of everything you have sent. Your friendship, no matter via which avenue we’ve used to connect, means a lot.
Moving on …
Metaphorically speaking, my mother wore a lot of hats. Because — realistically — the only hat she wore constantly was a Cubs hat that had “Javy #9” engraved on the side with the Puerto Rican flag for her favorite Cub. But I digress.
My mother was my adventure partner. She was someone who really embraced my baseball-related travels in recent years and her attendance on trips to Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and elsewhere were some of the best times we had. In that vein, she was the best baseball fan (as many of you are aware) you could ask for. She loved her Cubs, but she loved the game as a whole.
The White Sox-Astros World Series of 2005 might not have been a ratings success, but you can’t blame my mother who watched all the games — including the marathon in Game 3. She called me at some ungodly hour to tell me she was still watching, then again in the morning to confirm that I stayed up and watched what she watched. (And she’d be the first to remind anyone who would listen that it was she and not my dad (the Sox fan) who watched that — and all the World Series games.)
She was a foodie, who spent plenty of time in recent years searching for new places to try her favorite foods. Her disappointment in the changes at our local Mexican joint pushed her to find a hole-in-the-wall taco place on California near 90/94 that was so good, we went three times a week when upon discovery. She was also a master in the kitchen, who taught me how to cook a lot of my favorite foods. And judging by the fact she left me hundreds of pages of recipes on/near the printer, she planned on making sure I learned to make more, too.
She was an avid shopper. Online and in person, she could sniff out value or a deal anywhere at any time. This was something that was definitely passed on to me.
She was a music fiend who didn’t guide me to one genre over another. I can thank her for the variety in my music collection. And if you’ve ever been at a wedding/dance/house party I’ve deejayed, you can thank her, too.
On top of everything, she was a giver. And that’s the thing that has stuck out the most in the last few days. Whether it was hundreds of dollars in school supplies to needy children and teachers, mounds of clothes to Goodwill and other donation spots, toys, clothes, and other gifts during Christmastime, giving to JDRF and other charitable efforts, etc. … my mother was always one to be at the forefront of being a caring, giving person — whether it was time or money. It’s the one thing I really want to make sure I continue to do moving forward.
I guess that’s a long way of writing my mother was my best friend, and I’ll miss her presence.
Attached is the obituary I wrote for her. And, as is stated in the obituary, in lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to JDRF and the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation in her honor.
Thanks for reading. I’m looking forward to getting back to a normal schedule, because that’s what Mom said she wanted. And I’m not one who wants to deal with her haunting me for not following orders. I’ve learned my lesson on what happens when you don’t listen to Mom from when I was a child.