My mom passed away on May 17 of this year, the same week that we had the celebration dinner for our IPO at Bazaarvoice and the sales team celebration dinner for those that beat quota in Q4. It was very hard, especially after losing my father just four years prior. I encourage you to read about his life in the tribute I wrote about him. He was an incredible entrepreneur. But it was my mom that lit the initial spark in me. And that is why I named my blog in her honor. If you read my tribute about her below, you'll know why I named this blog Lucky7. As far as the .io name, well that of course stands for input and output, which I'm all about and also reminds me of my roots as a young programmer. My mantra at Bazaarvoice as our CEO was b: authentic.
Congregation Agudas Achim 7300 Hart Lane - Austin, Texas 78731 USA Office of Rabbi Neil F. Blumofe, Spiritual Leader
It is with sadness that we mourn the passing last evening of Brenda Lorelle Hurt (a"h) of Austin, cherished mother of CAA Family Members Brett and Debra Hurt and also Brandi McDaniel; cherished wife for 42 years of Brian (z”l); loving grandmother of Rachel, Levi, and Chantel.
Funeral services will be private. Brett will be attending evening minyan at Agudas Achim @ 6:00 on Monday, 5/21. Your presence in making a minyan in our community is a great mitzvah.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made in Brenda’s loving memory to the V Foundation for Cancer Research
Below our signatures, please find a very moving tribute that Brett wrote in memory of his beloved mother.
T'hi Nishmata Ts'rurah Bitzror haChayim.
May Brenda's soul be bound up in the bond of life. We wish much comfort and solace to her family in this mournful time.
Neil F. Blumofe Rabbi
Rachel Kobrin Assistant Rabbi
Joe Steinberg President
Family and friends,
It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of my mom's passing at age 65 from lung cancer. I want you to know what an amazing mother she was and how you can honor her if you would like to.
My mom graduated from U.T. Austin in just three years near the top of her class – with a perfect GPA. She got the dream job and in less than one year she quit to start a business with my father, who passed four years ago at almost the same age (he was 64 and you can read his tribute if you would like – he was an amazing father). Why did my mom leave her dream job to take this risk? To spend the time raising me – to pour her heart and soul into her children. She wanted the flexibility in life to shape me, and that she did.
My mom bought my first computer when I was 7 years old. It was one of the original Atari's with the BASIC programming cartridge and plug-in keypad to program it. My mom thought it would help me learn math. It did. She also learned how to program with me. This is a moment I will never forget – the investment of her time in learning what would become my lifelong passion – to change the world through technology. I immediately took to it and spent the next 14 years of my life programming over 40 hours a week. My dad didn't quite know what to think of this – that I was missing out on being outside with the other kids or going fishing with him. I spent some time outside, but I always couldn't wait to get back to my computer and write more programs. My mom saw that I was following my passion, and just like she let my father follow his passions (again, you can read about some of his passions in his tribute), she was firm with my dad that I should be allowed to live mine. This took enormous discipline. Think about it: what would you do if your child was on a computer 40 hours per week from age 7 to 21? Would you have the discipline to let your child live their passion – to be consumed with it – or would you instead strive for more "balance"? Were it not for my mom, I would not have turned into the entrepreneur I am today and created jobs for many people and ripples of change for many businesses through our software and services.
My mom was just as supportive with my little sister, and I am very proud of who she has become and how she has raised her daughter, my niece. My mom showed us love constantly. She was also firm when she needed to be, to get us on the right path. And she was always persistent in doing so as we tested her, just like any child does with their parents.
My mom was the most selfless, understanding, and loving person I have ever met. All she cared about was us. Her measure of success was through her children's success – that was her only goal in life. When we recently moved her into a nursing home to recuperate from the harshness of chemotherapy and radiation, which led to her not having the ability to walk, she filled out a questionnaire. One of the questions was, "what do you want to be remembered for in life?". Her answer, "for being a good mom". To that end, it made sense to me that we learned on Mother's Day, when she slipped into a coma, that she would soon pass away. She achieved that goal and then some. She was an amazing mom. She passed with me holding one hand, my sister holding the other, and my wife by her side. It was tragic and beautiful at the same time. It was how she would have wanted to pass – with us right there with her. In a miracle, she actually stopped breathing when I was on my drive back to the hospital and then came back to life when she heard my voice on my sister's speakerphone. She wanted all of us there. I pet her head as she passed, just as she would pet me as a little boy to sleep at night.
My mom's spirit will live on through me, my sister, my wife, my niece, and our children. She taught us how to unconditionally love and invest in your children. She taught us that if you believe in them, anything is possible with what they will become. Mom, I will miss you forever but you will live on through us. I will honor your lessons through our children. I will honor you through my actions at work and at home. You were always proud of me and collected every newspaper article or anything else that mentioned me. You would get mad if I forgot to save one of the articles for you, and you even drove up to a local newspaper headquarters one time to get backcopies because I had forgotten. We laughed about how startled they were when you arrived unexpected. They weren't used to that. How many moms do that?
It is fitting that as I write this, I am about to watch our daughter begin her swim meet. I love her and our son as much as you loved me. I will love you forever, Mom. Thank you for being an amazing mother and grandmother. We will never forget you.
If you would like to honor my mom, please donate to the V Foundation for Cancer Research. They are focused on finding a cure for this terrible disease, which affects so many. If you feel compelled to spend money on flowers, I would instead compel you to spend money on finding a cure. I also encourage you to get familiar with Jimmy, his cause, and his fight with the video located on their site. You can donate at this link in honor of my amazing mother, Brenda Lorelle Hurt.
It seems appropriate to me that the photo I share with you of my mom is the one of me with her, helping to fight against cancer during Movember two years ago. At that time, I never thought that cancer would take her life. We must find a cure.
I wish you all a great weekend. Hug your parents, and love your children as my mom loved me.