Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Remembering TV nights with my mom

Today, my mom would have turned 56.

My mom was one of my heroes, my best friend and my TV buddy.

We loved to watch Game Show Network, Disney Channel and “Desperate Housewives” together.

That night, before she went to sleep and never woke up, she came to my room and asked if I wanted to watch “Housewives.” It was a Sunday night.

It was March 6, 2011, and I was busy in my room, wrapping up Oscars coverage for the season, after returning from Hollywood earlier in the week.

That may have been the last interaction I had with her.

I remember that night like it was yesterday. Her fingers on my slightly opened door, peeking her head into my cramped quarters.

That smile on her face.

Maybe I should have joined her for one last TV binge.

A year or two later, I would find a photo on my phone from that night — the last meal she made.

It was nothing special: chicken with noodles.

My mom never had a penchant for making fine cuisine.

As a divorced working mom raising two kids and going back to school for her MBA, she didn’t spend time creating fanciful meals in the kitchen.

But that’s okay with me. That meant more TV time with me and the cats.

On this day, I remember my best friend. I mourn her lose everyday with my sister. But we remember the good times.

I’ll always remember the time we spent in front of the television.

To this day, when I watch a good episode from a TV show, I want to tell my mom about it.

Maybe she’s already seen it up in heaven.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tears of gratitude

A photo of me taken in my office after our 10th anniversary celebration. 
It hit me about 11 hours later.

I cried tears of gratitude mixed with grief, overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and messages about the closing of Toledo Free Press.

You never quite realize the impact something has had until it's gone or taken away.

Reading a colleague's comment on a photo I posted started the tears.

It was about 2 a.m., 11 hours after Publisher Tom Pounds' statement went live that his Toledo weekly would be closing its door after 10 years.

Word traveled quickly. I heard from friends around the country — Boston, Chicago, Milwaukee and Nashville — within an hour of the story going live. I had yet to share anything via social media myself.

I have been with Toledo Free Press for nearly all of my professional career. Since graduating college in 2009, I worked a few odd jobs until I was hired full-time in May 2010. It was joining the Free Press that showed me how important it is to be a part of something in your community.

I love the Free Press. I love what it stands for. And I love that it is about the community.

Yes, I may have lost my job, but more importantly Toledo lost one of its voices, an advocate for many and an outlet for those who were not given one before.

What meant a lot to me was that we were a newspaper that was informing Toledo with unbiased news and independent reporting that was important for the residents of Toledo to read.

We saw the city as a glass half-full city.

Seeing all of the posts and comments on social media only solidified this, bringing those tears of gratitude that we helped change a community for the better.

I love the Free Press. I will always love and be proud of what our team accomplished throughout its 10 years.

A photo posted by James A. Molnar (@thegoldknight) on