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A Tribute


Retired User
I've been lurking for some time, and I feel the need to type this in most part for cathartic purposes, so if it rambles a bit, I beg your forgiveness.

The year is 1979, and I'd been reading comics for some time at that point, and one day, in an issue of Iron Man (I think), there was an advertisement for Dungeons and Dragons. It had a big red dragon in the front of it, and immediately I was intrigued. A board game ... without a board? How would this work?

My mother was a high school teacher, and kept a very tight reign on her youngest son. My older brother was never a reader, preferring to be a hunter and fisherman like our dad (this is rural West Virginia -- there's not much else to do). I, however, was a Reader (capital R), and just like mom in that regard. In any case, she wanted to ensure I wasn't reading things inappropriate for my age.

So I went to my mom and asked about this new D&D thing, and she pulls out a flier they had been distributing at our church that talked about how this D&D was encouraging witchcraft and that it was a entrance into Satanism. No way, no how would her son be a Satanist.

My mom was active in the local library, as well, trying to prevent certain individuals from banning books from the local library. She believed it was the parent's responsibility to determine what was proper for their children, not everyone else.

So, she said no. I responded in my best "mature" 8 year old voice, that when I wanted to read other things, she would take the time to read them first and determine for herself what was best. Why not get the Player's Handbook and read it herself, and then make that choice.

Instead of dismissing this silly little boy's suggestion, she took it. A few days later, I saw her reading the 1st edition PHB, cover to cover. I wasn't allowed to read it until she had made a decision.

Cut to a week later. I come home from school, and laying on my bed was the Player's Handbook, with a note from my mom (I still have the note). It said "This will be good for you. Don't ignore the math in this. You'll need a Dungeon Masters Guide and a Monster Manual. They will come out of your allowance if you still want this."

I volunteered my allowance for the next few months, and did some work at a neighbor's house to earn the money for the other books, and my mom called my friends' parents to reassure them that D&D was not satanic, and actually good for their sons (math and reading), so my mom in essence set up my first D&D session.

Cut to many, many years later, and I'm still playing. I've made more friends with this game, and it even helped get me a good job (alot of people play D&D at Amazon.com, including recruiters). All because my mom wouldn't let other people make decisions for her son.

My mom passed away in June. I cannot put into words how much I miss her, and how much she has done for me. I have a 4 year old son now, and I only hope to be a tenth of as good a parent as she.
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Crafty Fan boy.
Validated User
This is beautiful.
While words from a stranger on the internet might not mean as much as the arms of your Mother around you in a warm hug, know that you have people who are sending you good juu juu.


Follower of the Way
Validated User
A testament to the fact that wisdom and discernment have not fled the home quite yet.

May you meet again, in the place where no shadows fall.


Hiding in a snowdrift
Validated User
Yeah, now that's parenting. I hope my kids can say something like that about me when I'm gone.
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