My Hero’s Footprints

Twelve years ago when I lived amid the hustle and bustle of the city in Phoenix, Arizona, I read an article about a hero in our local newspaper and clipped it out.

A woman came home from work, entered her home and walked into her bedroom to change out of her business attire. Her elderly mother was in the next room taking a nap and sleeping through the high volume of the television because of her hearing deficiency.

The front door of the home had stain glass panes and unknown to either woman, a man broke the glass, unlocked the door, and entered the residence a few minutes behind the homeowner. He walked past the room with the blaring television and went into the master bedroom. He saw a purse lying at the foot of the bed and grabbed it.

Ms. McNally, standing in her walk-in closet, had just kicked off her shoes when she heard a noise and turned to see the man make off with her purse.  Angry that some stranger invaded her home, she gave little thought to personal safety and gave chase.

The burglar ran out the front door to a small pickup truck with a female driver waiting. He chucked the purse into the bed of the truck and then got into the passenger seat. The truck took off. Unfortunately for the two crooks, Ms. McNally had jumped into the back of the truck to retrieve her purse. She grabbed it and noticing several other items, that looked to be stolen, she threw them onto the street.

As the vehicle slowed to go around a corner, she jumped out and then stood her ground as the truck sped away. She calmly took a pen from her purse and wrote down the license number. After notifying authorities, the truck was discovered to be stolen and several homes in the area had been victimized by the overconfident criminal couple. They were subsequently caught and prosecuted for their crimes.

The story was then published in the local paper. Ms. McNally was fifty-seven years old. I decided to write this post because a friend and follower of my blog referred to me as her hero. This makes me blush but also cringe slightly. I don’t feel like a hero but what an incredibly awesome thing for someone to say.

I’ve wanted to write this story for years and talk about my hero. I can’t find that long ago newspaper article but I know the story intimately. Ms. McNally is my mother.

My grandmother died a few years after this incident. My mom retired and bought a garage on one-hundred acres of property. She redesigned the interior and made a lovely home doing all the work herself. This includes wiring and building the walls. She has no electricity bill because she lives on wind generation and solar power. She’s a vegetarian and refuses to allow local hunters to go after a mountain lion living on her property. She owns a shotgun and the ratchet saved her life once but that’s another story.

I get the audacity to challenge life from a woman who continues to inspire me. She never blinked an eye when I went to the police academy at the age of forty-five. She knew I would achieve whatever I set out to do. She turned sixty-eight this year and she’s still beautiful and determined.

Thank you mom, I have big shoes to fill.



  1. This is great . . . I love it. Very inspirational. Thank you for sharing. And God bless you and your mother for your bravery. Rock on!


    1. There are new roof shingles that are solar. The question soon will be why isn’t everyone. Actually that should have been the question long ago.


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