This Mother’s Day, we asked some members of the CBS DFW family to reflect on what the day means to them.
What was it like growing up in a war, where bombs fell on the city you lived? What was it like to be shipped off to a farm outside the city to avoid being killed? What was it like when an American soldier gave you a piece of gum–the very first piece of chewing gum you’d ever had?
Those questions can all be answered by my mom. She’s a tough German girl who has taught me valuable lessons since I was a little boy. The value of hard and honest work. How much you really can do, with very little, and the commitment to being good to others.
We lost my dad in Vietnam in 1969, so after that, it was just mom and me. Brand new residents (although I’m a U.S. citizen by birth) in the early 70’s of the United States, my mom bravely carved out a new life in a place and time where “Germans” were still considered “Nazis” by some people.
From day one when we arrived in the U.S., she has set an example for me, on what being a good, compassionate citizen and person is all about. She would do anything to help a neighbor, or even a stranger in need. If she had on only ten dollars left and you needed it, she would give it to you. I’m so proud to say that’s my mom.
When I was growing up, and she told me to eat all my food on my plate because there were others in the world who weren’t so lucky, she knew what she was talking about. She had lived it. World War 2, Frankfurt Germany. Allied bombs raining down. My mom and my grandmother often survived on bread rations and water for days at a time.
My mother raised me as a single parent. A job that I still marvel at, now that I’m the co-parent of two wonderful children. It’s tough enough with man-on-man defense. I can’t imagine going it alone.
But the greatest gift my mother shares with me is love. Unconditional. From my youth to today, she has never wavered in her support of my life and my passions. Even when she knew I was wrong, she’d let me forge my own path, make mistakes, and recover. Only to find out what we all now know as adults: Mom was always right.