TODAY | May 10, 2013
>> fool. she's not one of those moms who coddles you or babies you but she really believed in us and she's the one who made me feel like i could do anything.
>> even the most mild-mannered person i think becomes a lion or lioness if their child is threatened. i always remember in school, i went to a catholic school in queens and i know that the worst sight for any of those nuns of the principal of that school was saying isabelle roker coming up 120th avenue on her own because of some perceived sleight so one of her children.
>> she was extraordinarily funny and still is. we call them joanieisms. it's always been adorable in her.
>> she's very empathetic. she's very generous. she's full of charity. as much as through my life i want to be a rough, tough, rough guy i always hear my mother's voice telling me to think about that other person's feelings.
>> my mom has, seems like an endless supply of patience. i don't know where she gets it from, but that is something that i always think of as the perfect trait.
>> my parents divorced when i was 8. my sister was 12 or 13, so i think my favorite memories of my mom after that time were about how she made sure we were okay. she made us feel secure and safe and sure of the future, and i thought that was an extraordinary gift she gave us.
>> she was the one, the loudest one at every basketball game which was embarrassing but that's where she was. no matter what i did, it was like oh, yes! i played tennis. oh, she's good, she's the best! she was always there. i know for a fact, for a fact there is no way i would be working at 30 rockefeller plaza , there is no way i'd be sitting next to kathie lee , no way i'd be working here without her.
>> my mother in particular was kind of like the instigator of family game night. on friday nights we always played what i like to call full contact scrabble. we played trouble, we played blackjack, we played all sorts of games that kept us together as a family, and she was the main architect of that.
>> when i was a little girl she used to pack my lunch for school and write a little note on a napkin and i treasured that. it would be like this little private moment i would have in the middle of the school day , but it meant so much to me to open it up and for her to say i'm so proud of you.
>> she taught me algebra even though she's no mathematician, she taught me how to stick even though she's probably not the best driving instructor, but she was always there and willing to do the difficult things with me.
>> i think the greatest lesson my mom ever taught me really is you know, being able to pick yourself up when things don't always go as planned. you know, you're going to make mistakes in life but it's how you get right back up and get back out there and show the world that you can do better. that's i think the greatest lesson there is.
>> family is everything to her. her faith, her family, that's her life and i inherited a great deal of that from her.
>> one of the things about my mom that i always wanted to kind of bring into my own parenting my mom was one of these people who let us know on a daily basis that we were taken care of, so there was always that kind of norm, but then on a daily basis had funny moments, she'd be spontaneous and do things that were completely unexpected, and it would make us laugh and make us question reality.
>> anything i wanted to be, she told me i could, and there's something magical about it, and it reminded me that sometimes you know, you don't need everyone to believe in you. you don't need everyone. you just need one.