Bye, Bye …



A long, long time ago, for my 5th birthday, you gave me a present I will never forget.

The lyrics to my favorite song, “Miss America Pie.”

They were handwritten by you.

This was before Google and the internet so you couldn’t search for the lyrics and copy and paste them then print them out for me, instead, you needed to start the record player, play a small piece of the song, listen to the words, stop the record player and quickly write the lyrics down on paper before you forgot them.

“Miss America Pie” just so happened to be one of the longest songs on record so you needed to repeat this process over and over, literally hundreds of times.

I imagine it took you quite some time to finish.

For anyone else, this would have been a tedious and frustrating process, but for you, I imagine it was rewarding because you did it out of love.

I remember how excited I was when you gave me my birthday gift, five pages of song lyrics to “Miss America Pie.”

I was so excited I brought them to school with me the next day.

I remember coming home from school that day and you asking me about the lyrics, and I remember telling you that I had given them to a girl named Cara.

I will never forget your reaction and response.

For your reaction and response has taught me so much about parenting.

Your reaction and response was not focused on how hard it was for you to write those lyrics, or how much time and effort you put in doing so, or how insensitive I was to give your thoughtful and personal birthday gift to me to a girl I hardly knew, or that I needed to get them back from Cara the next day.

No, instead you simply said,

“If giving those lyrics to a girl made you happy, then I am happy.”

I remember saying, “It did make me happy, but I really liked that gift.”

I remember the next day miraculously waking up to a second set of song lyrics to “Miss America Pie,” with a note attached saying this set was for me.

Mom, you have taught me so much about being a parent.

The countless sacrifices you have made for your children.

The endless time you have invested in us.

With our happiness always being your ultimate goal.

You always put your children before yourself.

Our happiness before yours.

I can’t think of a better definition of being a great mother than the way you lived your life.

Whenever I hear the song “Miss America Pie,” the music always makes me smile.

Your whole life you have always touched me deep inside.

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that …

As much as I don’t want it to be, we both understand that this may be your last Mother’s Day in your physical body.

I just want you to know you will always be alive inside me.

You will be alive…

In the way I parent.

In the way I sacrifice for my family.

In the way I will always put my family’s happiness before my own.

You will be alive in the love I have for my children.

You will be alive in the way I live my life.

And I just want to let you know as much as it is going to hurt and as much as we are all going to miss you,

We are all going to be okay.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom.

Love you always and forever,




1 reply »

  1. John, I don’t often cry, but I have tears running down my cheeks as I write this note. Beautifully written about my oldest and dearest friend, Joanie…i ldon’t have to tell you how much we love eachother. The last 69 years will attest to that. We were inseparable thru our teen years, and stayed attached until we both left the Bronx in the late ’60 after we both were married. But that didn’t end or lessen our resolve to stay in touch. We came out to the Island, and you guys came upstate to the mountains. And when life got in the way, we called eachother…
    then email, then fb. And Now, we are back to calling.
    I told her we wanted to come out to visit…she does not want us to see her like she is now, but we still want to come out. I will ask her again, but i would appreciate your trying to convince her to say it’s ok. Bob and I do not want the next time we see her to be when she can no longer see us.
    Again, John, Thank you for these wonderful words about my wonderful, life-long buddy-pal.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s