Goodnight Mom, I Love You
by Karen Ritter Kelly

"I miss my walks with Mikey at the ocean. I miss our mutual moments of silence. I miss the laughter we shared . . ."

Kelly and her son, Mikey, enjoyed a tradition of driving out to the ocean—a particularly rocky and beautiful spot on the beach at Half Moon Bay called the Mavericks. Mikey loved, more than anything, surfing the waves. “On the drive home we would talk,” writes Kelly. “I always told him that he brought joy to my heart.” On a brisk day in November 2001, only days before Thanksgiving and just weeks shy of his 18th birthday, Mikey and his best friend Joel were killed in an automobile accident on a curvy road known by locals to be dangerous. A third friend was seriously injured but survived. In this touching story of unyielding faith, Kelly describes when she arrived at the hospital where her son lay. “I wanted to climb into the hospital bed and cuddle him,” she writes.

In a tender homage to her son, the author includes a half-page essay Mikey had written earlier in 2001 titled ‘Seize the Moment.’ Here, Mikey writes of his passion for surfing in the ocean: “One of the biggest dreams I have about the ocean is to become one with it. Not only to conquer it, but to make friends as well.” The author often returns to the Mavericks and describes in beautiful natural imagery fine details of the beach her family loved so much. Truly touching as well is the manner in which the author takes the reader to graveyard visits where her child is buried, heart-wrenchingly describing her faith in Mikey’s presence with God. It is more than apparent throughout Kelly’s book how much of a blessing Mikey was in her life and the lives of others. Her writing—which is both extremely accessible and intimate in nature—is a touching celebration of the life of her son.

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