“Because of my mother it never occurred to me that you couldn’t do what you wanted to do.” -Francine Prose
I can't think of a more fitting quote for the young lady in this picture. It doesn't matter what crazy dreams I've had, she's never told me I couldn't accomplish them.
When I aspired to be Steve Urkel from Family Matters, Mom agreed I pulled off the nerd look quite nicely.
A few years later, all I wanted was to be Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Whenever I stopped to look down sewer drains, Mom never reminded me the turtles lived in NYC.
Stand-up comedy came next, with Bill Cosby, Red Skeleton, and Jim Stafford routines and impressions of Forrest Gump, Captain Jack Sparrow, and The Soggy Bottom Boys. Mom said they were good, but suggested I write my own material and create my own characters.
I told her I was moving to Chicago after college to chase my acting dream. Mom reminded me of Andre Gide's famous quote. "Man will never discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
A few years later, I sent her this pic from those foreign shores after watching a film I starred in at the most prestigious film festival in the world.
While Karen and I waited to move from Indy to L.A., I whined to Mom there were no opportunities for me to pursue in the meantime. Mom gave me another quote: "Life has a funny way of pushing you in the way you need to go."
Then, she challenged me to keep writing.
I swear to you I've thought of that quote daily ever since.
When the consultant firm I worked at looked to be ridding their independent contractor program, I thought of Mom's quote and took it as a sign of life nudging me again. When my daughter was born and making it into L.A. for auditions became near non-existent, I thought of that quote as life nudged me towards writing Salted and other books to come.
Not only has this fantastic mother given me these inspirational quotes, she showed me there is no need to give up on dreams by following her own. She's written her own books, created and owned her own company, and all of it while wearing the wife and mother hats. Best of all, she achieved another of her dreams this past December: she received her Bachelor's degree.
Here's to the best Ma out there. Love ya. ;)
Author. Actor. Rascal.