“Happy Mother’s Day, mom. I miss you,” he says amid tears and laughs

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

For all the mothers we miss. For all the love they gave us.

Hey, mom, it’s me, your firstborn checking in on Mother’s Day. I’ve been meaning to call. Yeah, I know, you’ve heard that one before.

So, how is it up there in heaven? As good as they say? I’m turning 80 this year. Any chance you could put in a good word for me, just in case?

Dad passed away last year, a year after you did.

I hate to ask, but did he make it in? I know you always felt it was touch and go. He wasn’t a particularly religious man, but he prayed a lot — usually on his way to Santa Anita or Hollywood Park.

I know you lit more than a few candles for his soul over the years. I’m just hoping they worked, and he had a plus-one invite waiting for him at the front door.

Everybody sends their love and wanted me to tell you they really miss your meatballs. I know that’s going to bring a smile to your face.

Proud mom Marie McCarthy poses for a photo next to a newspaper rack with a rack card promoting her son, Dennis McCarthy. (Photo courtesy Dennis McCarthy)

Yours were the best. You left me your recipe, but I’ll be darned if I can get them as tender and tasty as you did.

I know you left something out of the recipe just to spite me. What was it? More parsley, less wet bread?

Kidding aside, you held this family together, mom. You were the reason I’d bring out the long table in the garage and a dozen folding chairs every year for special occasions.

The matriarch was turning 90 or she was celebrating 70 years of marriage.

Or, Mother’s Day was here.

You always drew a full house of grandchildren to pay their respects and pick your brain. You were the only one left at 95 who remembered it all.

When cousin Chuck began writing a family history, you were the one who filled in many of those branches on the tree for him.

Not just the names and dates, but the sights, sounds, and even smells of the Italian neighborhoods we all were born in back in New York, but were too young to remember when we moved to California.

All the good times and the hard.

It was just you and me back then in 1944 — a 17-year-old girl and her baby living on other people’s kindness.

You should have been graduating high school, but instead you were cleaning homes for room and board to keep me warm and safe while dad was serving overseas.

The men of the Greatest Generation provided the courage, but it was the women, the young mothers like you, who steeled our spines at home. You did what you had to do and didn’t whine about it. I always respected that.

I know this is going to make you sad, mom, but I haven’t brought out that long table and folding chairs very much since you’ve been gone. It’s just not the same without the matriarch at the table reminding us all that family comes first.

I promised myself I wouldn’t get too maudlin writing you this Mother’s Day card, so I’ll end with this. You were my biggest fan, my head cheerleader and mentor.

You gave me the most precious gift a mother can give. Your heart.

I took it and turned it into words in a newspaper column. Kind words about good people, just like you asked. For that, I owe you everything.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom. I miss you.

P.S. If dad did get in, give him a hug for me. Tell him the horse I picked for him last week in the Kentucky Derby ran out. What else is new?

Dennis McCarthy’s column runs on Sunday. He can be reached at dmccarthynews@gmail.com.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.

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