Mothers’ Day at our house are most days of the year, when that special woman I married 54 years ago witnesses her efforts continuing to bloom after raising three boys and a girl – all leading successful lives in their vocations.
She flew to San Diego Wednesday to watch our youngest son, Tim, being honored as “Officer of the Year” by his peers with the presentation by the city’s police chief. Tim is a 14-year veteran and was lauded not only for his actions on duty, but for his spirit of giving off duty as well, asking for nothing in return, and known for mentoring younger fellow officers.
My 6-foot-4 son was on a Fox News clip that was sent to me Thursday night so that I could witness the live interview by the Channel 5 TV anchor and hear his remarks on camera saying the award “humbled” him. He’s a guy who doesn’t like being in the spotlight.
My only wish was that I had been able to be there for the event where he was chosen out of some 220 officers in the department where he works as a homicide detective. Watching that news clip made me realize what I had missed by not being there to put my arm around his shoulder, letting him know how proud I was of him once again.
I have been on ride-alongs with Tim on a number of occasions and realize his passion for police work and for stopping as many drunk drivers as he can locate during a shift. That passion comes from seeing five of his classmates in high school die in wrecks caused by drinking and driving.
My wife Mary Lou – a longtime educator both professionally and in our family – was in the audience to see it unfold first-hand in the Chula Vista Police Department quad. Moms definitely make a difference as they continually plan for the future. During the kids’ teen years she would sit and listen late in to the night and let them unload the pressures of their days before suggesting positive solutions, never raising her voice. She was one to never miss a school play or an athletic event when any of our kids were involved.
She was the nurturing parent while I was probably too much of a disciplinarian telling them anything they did wrong from vulgar speech to improper dress and other negative actions that would reflect on everyone in the family with our one-of-a-kind name. I guess the combination of the two of us proved to be fairly good teamwork and balance in the long run.
As the perfect mother in my eyes, I take great pleasure in saluting her on Mothers’ Day because she was always there for our foursome, no matter how tired she might have been at the time doing lesson plans or correcting papers or sick with a cold or worse – the kids had to come first. They knew how important they were as well as what was expected of them.
They still realize how much their mother is there for them as do the six grandchildren as she makes as many of their soccer and youth baseball games as possible. That’s another challenge with grandchildren scattered from Dallas to San Diego and Morgan Hill.
Tim’s award this week was a compliment to her, but I’m sure she doesn’t realize just how important she has been to him and to the other kids. “I just try my best,” she would say to me. And her best was like the touch of an angel. This is a mom who prays for her son every night that she knows he is out on patrol, that he will be kept safe from harm.
To contact Glenn Kahl, e-mail email@example.com or call 209.249.3539.