Parker: Moms Across Texas

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State Rep. Tan Parker

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly tested all of us.  We have seen historic challenges to every aspect of our lives, but in the midst of this crisis, I am continually reminded this virus is no match for Texans!

In the midst of this nightmare, I have seen incredible fortitude and courage from Texans who are going above and beyond the needs of their own well being. I’ve seen neighbors helping neighbors and schools making sure that their students are not only continuing to learn but also continuing to receive meals. Businesses have answered the call and donated supplies to those in need even when they too are facing incredible hardships. First responders have provided tributes to our courageous doctors and nurses while also visiting children on their birthdays at home. Day in and day out, grocery store workers are tending to our food needs and trucking and delivery companies are making sure packages arrive. Educators have moved mountains to create virtual classrooms and new pathways of connection are being created daily in every industry. And we have been in awe at the beautiful blue lights encompassing area buildings in a show of support for the frontlines.  I could utilize every inch of this editorial to recognize those who are graciously uplifting others through their unwavering service, kind deeds, and encouragement.

As our gratitude grows, perhaps it’s no coincidence that Mother’s Day is upon us. In this spirit, I’d like to honor our moms who consistently rise to meet whatever situation they are confronted with. Whether that means transitioning to homeschooling their children overnight, running a business and their home, working multiple jobs to put food on the table, grasping to make ends meet, or opening their home and heart to those in need of support and love, the mothers across our communities are not just inspiring, but are the ones providing certainty during an uncertain time.  I see it first hand with my wife, Beth, who is the bedrock of our family and hero to our daughters.

Whether it’s a biological mom, adoptive, step, in-law or that reassuring woman who seemingly accepts everyone as one of her own, their strength encompasses every aspect of our world.  Without question, one day a year to recognize the infinite contributions mothers make is just not enough to justify the appreciation they are due.

Throughout history, we have learned of the many heroic actions of women who have ignited love, hope, and perservence out of a vision that comes from the eyes of a mother.  Yet, there are so many stories that remain untold, unknown, or are hardly familiar to the general population – but rest assured, where a positive difference has been made in either one life or billions of others, a mother’s love is the common thread. Every day, this is evident in Denton County.

Examples range from Winning the Fight (www.wtf-winningthefight.org) led by Kathy O’Keefe who fights to educate and help families battling the horrific reality of addiction after tragically losing her own son, to the group of moms behind Protect Texas Fragile Kids (www.txfragilekids.org) that beautifully advocates for better public policy and awareness of our state’s most medically fragile children. The visions from moms are shaping our community including when a local mom, Kimberly Smith, opened her life to countless youths struggling in unimaginable ways by founding Journey to Dream and then Kyle’s Place, a refuge for teens facing homelessness (www.journeytodream.com).

The care that comes from area moms never slows down. Mission Moms, led by Kathryn Flores, focuses year round on meeting the needs of families and loving them during challenging times by providing meals. They are actively working and seeking food donations through this current crisis to make sure families do not have the added challenge of hunger as COVID-19 threatens their health and steals their livelihoods (www.missionmoms.org) .

The love that is given from mothers is building up communities, neighborhoods, homes and most importantly children.  It is said that “what children see, shapes what they will become”.  I see no greater hope for our future, then for every child to know the love only possible from that of a mom.

As we reopen the great state of Texas, I hope that we will really take heed of the examples that the mothers in our lives and communities have set. May we all provide a helping hand when there is an opportunity; rise to meet every occasion with confidence and faith; and fiercely love anyone that crosses our path. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms across Texas – including my own wonderful mom who I am forever grateful to.

It is an honor to serve you in the Texas House of Representatives, and I hope you will stay in touch! Please share your questions and ideas to serve our fellow Texans by calling 972.724.8477 or email [email protected]. You can also find me at www.tanparker.com.

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