Unfortunately, this year I'm not able to see my mom on Mothers' Day because of work, so I thought I'd let her know how much she's appreciated by writing her her very own Ode...
Karen Garner-Rivoira is one of the most amazing people you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. Her kindness, generosity and empathy for her fellow man (and animal) make Mother Theresa look like Cruella De Ville.
You must understand: I hear "ohh, how's your mooom??" and "ohh, I miss your mooom! Tell her I say hi!" on nearly a daily basis. When I was 17 I started bringing girls over to the house in Carlsbad to hang out and meet Mom; each and every one immediately fell in love with her.. and why wouldn't they? Meeting her for the first time, many are taken aback by how genuinely warm, affable and welcoming she is - like almost an unearthly kind of nice. Remember how sweet, loving and all-around awesome Norma Arnold in The Wonder Years was? Well multiply her by 1000 and you have my mom.
I kid you not, guys: this is a woman so understanding that she once responded to finding a bloody used band-aid in her salad at a restaurant by smiling warmly at the server and kindly asking for another, as if they had only mildly inconvenienced her. This is a woman so compassionate that she'll stop the car and pick up each and every lost dog she sees walking down the road in an effort to find the poor pooch's owner. This is a woman so supportive that she paid to see my last play six freaking times! And this is a woman who, after reading my post about being told I look like Emilio Estevez, emailed me pictures of a young Emilio and assured me that I was "much handsomer" ...she sure did.
Seriously, the only times I can remember ever getting upset with her growing up were when she had the audacity of being too caring: Getting worried sick and breaking down crying because I didn't arrive home at the time I said I would and I haven't called in hours to tell you where I am? Don't be ridiculous, Mom! Forcing me to send a 'thank you' note to every single person who was generous enough to give me a birthday/graduation gift? Aww, c'mon! That'll take forever! ...You say you feel bad for the opposing pitcher because he's giving up so many runs? Ok, Mom, that's just retarded! ...Yep, this is about as bad as it got for me as a kid.
Whenever my heart gets broken, whenever I'm having trouble with my P.O.S. car (and trust me I've had a lot), and whenever being a poor actor has me down in the dumps, Mom's always the first person I call for words of advice and encouragement.. and she always knows exactly what to say to make things, no matter how lame they might be, seem like they're going to be okay. I could go on ad nauseam about all the times my mom has gone above and beyond her motherly duties for my brother and me. For the sake of you, the reader, I will not, but I will say that words can't describe how greatful and lucky I am to have the greatest mom a guy could ever ask for. And if you know her too, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.
...it's a wonder a woman like this gave birth to such a jackass :)
Happy Mothers' Day, Mom. I love you.