Mom Knows Best

How her late mother led her to a whole new family!

by - Posted on Aug 21, 2014

Carol Ann Sullivan on her wedding day with her mom.

Today’s guest post from Carol Ann Sullivan proves there’s nothing quite like a mother’s love! A year after her mom passed away, Carol Ann was still finding it hard to cope. Her mother had been her best friend and confidante, the one who believed she could do anything.

Carol Ann just couldn’t get her life back together. Until her mom gave her just the push she needed to get back on her feet…

One of my favorite TV shows growing up was The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mom and I would sit on our gold velour couch in Queens, New York, and laugh at the zany antics that cropped up week after week.

As you probably remember, the series centered around Mary, who moved to Minneapolis and got a job working in a television newsroom. We marveled at all the coincidences Mary and I shared, even the same exact high-neck bathrobe! Mom always said I was like Mary with a little bit of New Yorker Rhoda mixed in.

The moment Mary Tyler Moore was over, Mom would flip to channel 5 for The 10 O'Clock News, which we watched without fail every night. Of course, she never admitted it, but I think she had a bit of a crush on the anchor, John Roland!

“One day, you’re gonna work in a newsroom like that,” Mom would say, pointing to the screen. I was just a young teenager then, but she always had such big dreams for me.

Years later, when I was working in publicity at a television station, Mom passed away from a cerebral hemorrhage. In an instant, I lost my mother and my best friend. I missed our daily phone calls, the elaborate Sunday feasts she’d whip up after church, the way she’d sing along to commercials…everything.

At the time, I was also grieving the loss of two other family members. It was one blow after another, so I decided to take time off from work just to regroup and grieve.

Some days all I could do was watch Mary Tyler Moore reruns on the couch. I knew Mom would’ve hated to see me moping around the house, but I didn’t know how else to cope.   

And then one afternoon, a year after Mom’s death, I got a phone call from a friend.

“C’mon, Carol Ann, when are you gonna go back to work?” she said. “I saw a bunch of openings in the paper for a TV station.” 

“I dunno,” I sighed. “I’m not ready.” Could I really go back to the real world? A world without Mom?

My heart wasn’t in it, but my friend wouldn’t stop hassling me about it. So I called up the station, which turned out to be Channel 5, and set up an interview, not really knowing what I was applying for. The following week, I met with an HR coordinator to discuss my background.

“We have a few open positions, but I think you’d be a perfect fit in our newsroom,” she said, leading me into a bustling open office. “Are you familiar with The 10 O'Clock News?”

I was hired on the spot and spent the next four years working for a man nearly identical to Lou Grant, Mary’s boss on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Little by little, the newsroom became my family.

Mom must’ve known I’d need more than a little nudge to get back on my feet. And, so, she led me straight to The 10 O'Clock News. It was the job that forced me out of my sadness, back into the real world, where Mom was still very much present.

Do you have an amazing “mom miracle”? Share your story below!

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