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Mom's Legacy

We lost our biggest fan on May 29th. Mom loved everything about TennisAlley because she loved us, she loved creativity, and she loved the sport. (Today she has the best seat in the house, and I can almost hear her cheering for her favorite Novak "Yokey" during this French Open final.) She loved that we were following our passion. One of her mottos in life was "have fun!" And she did.

She just recently told me about her first tennis racquet; she said she was about 10 years old, if I remember the details correctly. Grandma used to send her by bus to Milwaukee to stay with relatives for a while each summer. It was there, at the Boston Store in the 1940s, that she purchased a wooden racquet for $5. And then she'd find a wall to hit against. Mom never made excuses—not having a hitting partner just meant she had to get creative. I think she thrived on these sorts of challenges her entire life. How often did we hear her say "I have an idea!"?

There wasn't a girls tennis team when Mom was in high school. (She was a cheerleader.) And I don't know that she played much as a young adult. But when I was a teen we had a family membership at the local club, where she was very active in leagues. In fact, she and her friends took an annual trip to Hilton Head. She made sure that I got to have regular lessons and go to camps. I recall during my high school matches she would audibly gasp and groan at my too-generous line calls. She was more athletic and competitive than I ever was!

Before Bob and I went on our first date, he learned of Mom's love for tennis and took her to the local courts to play. She came back and gave me thumbs up. He had won her over. Imagine her joy that the Diaz boys all played also! Watching Joey play junior tournaments in Vegas and college tennis in Washington was pure bliss for her.

I missed her so much yesterday when I finally made a batch of the tennis pasta. I would have told her about it on our daily call, and she would have had all sorts of ideas of how to serve it. Yellow tomatoes, pesto sauce ... I thought of her while at the grocery store and in the kitchen ...

She would have loved this! Entertaining was one of the things she did best, and presentation was important. It was her way of telling people they were worth her full attention.

We raised a toast: "to Mom!"

And now, we have an idea! As part of her "have fun, make no excuses" legacy, we invite you to help us build our "Hit the Wall" map on the bottom of our Pro Shop page. Where are places in your neighborhood that people can go to with just a racquet and a ball and work on their game? Message us with the address, and we'll add it to the map.

"Yokey" is about to make history with his son and daughter looking on. You would be so happy, Mom. We sure miss you and hold you in our hearts always.

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