Wednesday, June 27, 2007

For My Mother

My mother, Ann Luby, passed away yesterday after a long bout with leukemia.

Over the years I have learned many things from her and I have a wealth of memories to cherish, but her absence will leave a large void in my life. Needless to say, I love her and will miss her dearly.

When she was just out of college, my mother took a job teaching high school math in an inner city school in Hartford, Connecticut. She particularly enjoyed teaching those who struggled most with math and delighted in making math fun for them by translating difficult concepts into games and real life applications.

I could not have been more than eight years old when she presented me with a slide rule and helped me to understand that numbers were more than just tables to be memorized, but concepts and relationships that reduced much of the complexity of the world to simple truths. I didn’t know what a Monte Carlo simulation was back then, but after she taught me how to calculate batting averages and ERAs, I grabbed some dice and lots of paper and created dice baseball leagues, internalizing probabilities and distributions along the way so that it became effortless for me to create mock baseball leagues, teams, games and players whose various stats were just as real in statistical terms as those logged in Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium. Needless to say, when the rest of my class finally got around to long division a couple of years later, I just smiled and nodded my head.

Though she remained a teacher of one sort or another all her life, my mother always wanted to be a journalist more than anything else. When her career veered in a journalistic direction, I was there to cheer her on and learn everything I could about the process of gathering information, analyzing it, formulating ideas, and presenting them in a persuasive manner.

Only in the last day or two have I come to realize that not only do I find myself pursuing some of the same disciplines that were close to her heart, but in many ways the expression of my ideas here in this blog are the offspring of her life’s work as well.

The passing of the baton from one generation to the next does not always go as smoothly as some might have hoped. In this case, I could not have been better prepared. Thank you, Mom, for being a great teacher and for everything you have done for me.

Finally, no matter how near or how far she traveled, my mother always sent me a postcard. Mom, this one is for you.


Unknown said...

Bill, so sorry for your loss... I will lift you and your family up in my prayers. -jim kingsland

Unknown said...

I'm sorry to hear the news. I wish you peace of mind during your time of grief.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your loss friend.

dk said...

Beautiful eulogy, Bill, and I love how your lives are looped together so meaningfully. Our thoughts and prayers are with you....

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss, my condolences to you and your family.
Thomas Ott

Trading Goddess said...


I am sobbing as I write this. I truly feel your pain and grief!

When you said: "Finally, no matter how near or how far she traveled, my mother always sent me a postcard."...

my jaw dropped to the ground, because, you see, I have been doing that to my own daughter for many years now, and saving them up for her to open when she gets much older... and everyone around me has always belittled me for it.

My point in sending letters and postcards was to tell her that she is always in my thoughts and my love for her is always there.

I know your own mom felt the same about you.

Hugs to you and yours!

Dao said...

Sorry to hear the news. Keep up the great work, that's the best way to live and remember your mom.
My condolences to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Bill, I am sorry. -restafarian

OptionPundit said...

Dear Bill,

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I just prayed and wished peace and happiness for her soul in the other world...

Take care my friend..and I am sure you will feel your mom in that handwritings of her on those lovely cards and many more memories.

Take sometime off...

warm regards,

Anonymous said...

So sorry, Bill.

Your fine tribute brought back some great memories of my parents.


The Bucket Shop said...

Sorry for yout loss, Bill!

Agustin said...

Bill, I lost my mother almost exactly ten years ago. I know how it feels. My condolences to you & your family. Agustin Mackinlay.

Adam said...

So sorry. Condolences from all of us.

Your work is great, she taught you well.

Simply Options Trader said...

So sorry to hear about your loss. My deepest condolences to you & your family.

Take care!


Dear Bill,
I'm very sorry about your loss. My condolences to you & your family.

I lost my mother too few years ago. I can understand how you feel. Though she no longer lives in this world, her love, spirit, and passion always live in my heart.

My prayers are with you & family.
Take care & God bless.

Warm Regards,

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