Happy Mother's Day to all observing the special day. Here's a short blog with my Mother's Day thoughts before I fo fire up the @WeberGrills in the backyard.
My Mom, Elizabeth Ann Ross, died suddenly on December 5, 1998 in Westville, Oklahoma at the age of 64. My Mama was my biggest fan and never missed a single Little League Baseball game or a football game in which I played throughout my childhood. I was an only child and I was the center of her life which was both, at times, a blessing and a curse. Most 'only children' can relate to that statement but at the end of the day I wouldn't have had it any other way.
My Mom also was a devout viewer of Monday Night RAW and the TBS WCW Saturday Night show before that and would often have some of her friends over to her mobile home in Westville, Oklahoma to watch her son on TV. Her homemade BBQ sauce is the inspiration of our family brand of sauces and condiments. Yep, Mama continues to influence my family's life long after she's been gone.
I was traveling with my WWE family on the day Mom passed and was sitting in a small, London Hotel room when the obnoxiously, loud ring of the telephone awakened me. It was my wonderful wife Jan calling me to give me the sad news. Jan was brave, full of love and so caring when she succinctly broke the news to me that Mama was gone. No wife should ever be dealt that hand but my Pittsburgh Italian bride rose to occasion.
Jan had already talked to Vince and Linda McMahon earlier that morning to let them know the news as she knew that I might not mention it and internalize it especially considering that we had a WWE, UK PPV to get on the air. Capitol Combat emanated from London and was a big day for our company and the great fans of the United Kingdom and beyond.
The McMahon's were gracious enough and willing to fly my wife over to London from our Connecticut home to be with me or fly me home to begin funeral arrangements for my mother. I opted to stay at work because I truly believed that's why my Mom would have wanted. I still believe that to this very day.
So the PPV went off, seemingly without a hitch but I don't really remember much of it , except for the fact that I suffered another attack of Bells palsy which would put me on the sideline from December 6,1998 until March 28, 1999 when I would return, face hanging, to Philadelphia to call the main event at WrestleMania XV which was the first @steveaustinBSR vs. @TheRock main event at 'Mania of the three that they had.
My Mama's fiery attitude and passion, for whatever she was doing, along with the support and love of my wife Jan and our WWE family pulled me through that day in Philly as I had never been more scared to walk out of the curtain in my life as I was that day. Not even at WM9 on my debut in Las Vegas. I looked like a stroke victim and also knew that I would have hold my face in place so that I could be understood while calling a main event of which I had made a significant, emotional investment in the two talents who were headlining the biggest WWE event of the year.
So now, every Mother's Day brings with it a plethora of special memories that generally relates to my Mama and to some form of the business that I love. My Mom indulged my crazy passion for the business when I was a kid. Even while my Dad said that pro wrestling was show biz, my Mom allowed me to suspend my disbelief and enjoy the product for whatever I perceived it to be.
Now, today, is the first Mother's Day that my wife is experiencing without her Mom who passed away a few weeks ago. She was a wonderful woman who was the perfect mother in law. A highly skilled professional in the nursing field, Lois Grillette was a Renaissance woman who loved to travel and to see the world. I always felt honored to marry into the family largely because of the matriarch who was a fun loving adventurer and who lived her 80 years to their fullest. I pray that I'm as full of P&V when I'm 80 if I'm allowed to hang around that long.
So, no matter if your Mom is still with you or not, enjoy Mother's Day and recreate some of the wonderful times and memories that you have had with your Mom over the years. Memories last a life time and no one can ever take those memories from us. Embracing the lady who brought you into this world with a hug, whether it be literal or figurative, should be the order of the day.
Never take days like this for granted and remember that none of our tomorrow's are guaranteed. Count your blessings and hug your Mama.