I’d heard about Ryan O’Byrne’s mother Lorelei passing away but I wanted to wait before I said something. I wanted the hockey game and the circus that goes with it long over because something like this doesn’t need to take second fiddle to anything. This is life and moms we’re talking about.
Ryan O’Byrne is 25 years old and has just lost his mother to the evil clutches of cancer. I was 27 when my own mom left because of the same disease, and I can only imagine what Ryan is going through. It’s not just young kids that hurt and cry and miss when they lose their mom. It’s any age. Because moms are moms, the greatest role of mankind.
Ryan’s mom will never see her grandkids grow. She’ll never see how Ryan carries on as a fine man, father and husband. She won’t see anymore the one she gave birth to, who she fed and changed and watched grow from a little boy into a big strapping man, but who remained to her still her little boy. She’ll never again swell with pride to see her son play hockey on the big stage.
When I lost my mom, my family fell apart. We went our separate ways. My father, now 89, was buried in grief and has never recovered. It was my mom who made things work, who helped us with our problems with friends and homework and all the drama in our young lives. She did without so we could have nice clothes like other kids, who listened to my rock and roll records with me even though she probably preferred to be somewhere else, and who made sure we had good Christmas’ even though there was no money. She wore old clothes and spent her life in her kitchen cooking for us. She helped me write my letters to the Montreal Canadiens, she came to my games, and in my world, she was the best mother on the planet. My mom gave up everything to be a mom. It’s what most moms do.
And I remember the joy on her face when she won a clothes dryer in a poetry contest. Her life just got a little bit easier that day.
Ryan O’Byrne, at 25, is still a young fellow and is grieving. He’ll remember things from before, the big and small from his days at home, like I do. And he’ll remember those times with her for the rest of his life.
I miss my mom and have for many years, and my heart goes out to Ryan and his family.