It isn’t news that children have a special path to the heart of their parents. The tender moments they bring to our life make the aggravating times worthwhile. But it is news when it happens in such a meaningful way that every parent can embrace the story.
Ask Pablo Mendoza what I mean, and he’ll confirm it.
Mendoza is a police sergeant. He works for the Fort Worth Police Department. Traveling to New York to attend the funeral of Sgt. Paul Tuozzolo who was killed in the line of duty, he discovered a gem. It wasn’t gold or silver. It wasn’t a diamond or ruby. It was something that had more value!
He found words … sincere, precious words scrawled carefully on a piece of paper placed in his luggage. Utterances that would make any father beam … and get glassy eyed at the same time!
“Dear Dad, I’m sorry about NYPD officer,” Sgt. Mendoza’s daughter wrote. “I pray and hope this violence stops. You are my hero, be careful and be safe. Grace, Mom and I are going to miss you. WE LOVE YOU! Love, Emily. I (heart) U Daddy.”
Proudly, there is a father from Fort Worth who is a hero to his daughter. But there is also an eight-year old little girl that gave her dad the unsurpassed gift of her heart expressed in terms that are unforgettable.
Beyond the note by this sweet little girl is a commentary about the profession of law enforcement. A police sergeant from Texas was simply one of many who traveled out of state to attend the funeral of a fellow officer killed in the line of duty. How many other professions do that with the regularity practiced by cops?
Sgt. Mendoza is a goodwill ambassador for the profession, and his daughter Emily brought a smile to more faces than she ever dreamed.