Commentary

Inspiration for those who’ve lost a loved one

“Each difficult moment has the potential to open my eyes and open my heart.” — Myla Kabat- Zinn The recent tragedy of losing three young children to an auto-train accident reminds us that there are answers to some questions we will never know. Anyone who has lost a child can relate to the feeling of having lost a part of your life, your very soul. My parents experienced it, and several others in this town have recently had to trudge down that sad road.

Mary Ann Garrett of Temple had to live through that nightmare on May 25, 1996 — a date seared in her memory — when two of her children, Michael and Constance, drowned in Lake Belton.

At a family picnic, her daughter was gathering shells on the bank, accidentally fell in, and was pulled down by the undertow. The girl’s older brother had just come from a stay in the hospital and still had intravenous tubes in his arms. He became weak in the water searching for his sister and also drifted under.

Mary Ann Garrett, kneeling with some beneficiaries of her M.C. Community East dance team that performed at the RMH Health Fair. From left are Dominique Peebles, Xavier Baker, Ty McCorcle and Garrett’s son, Bradrick Hudson. Reporter/Ken Esten Cooke Mary Ann Garrett, kneeling with some beneficiaries of her M.C. Community East dance team that performed at the RMH Health Fair. From left are Dominique Peebles, Xavier Baker, Ty McCorcle and Garrett’s son, Bradrick Hudson. Reporter/Ken Esten Cooke For all her pain, Mary Ann, fought through it all and has an inspiring story on dealing with tragedy in a positive way.

Garrett, the sister of Deborah Garrett Lopez (who works at Richards Memorial Hospital), began the M.C. Community Youth in Temple, a place to get city children off the streets and give them positive activities and examples to follow. Many of these children struggle with being raised by single parents and the other challenges of city life.

Mary Ann saw a speaker on the old Leeza Gibbons show, Marilyn Healvin, that she said provided her a good example. Now she’s doing the same for others.

“Music City,” art by Kennedy Cooke-Garza, senior at Rockdale High School. “Music City,” art by Kennedy Cooke-Garza, senior at Rockdale High School. Since she began the program, over 14,000 k ids have been through it, learning dance and other skills at the Wilson Park Rec Center.

Garrett was recognized on the Texas Senate Floor for “turning tragedy into triumph” and was named the Texas Volunteer of the Year.

Her own son, Bradrick Hudson, was one of 10 youth, out of 2,000, who was named an “Absolutely Incredible Kid” by the Campfire Organization.

I firmly believe that we will be judged by our God by what we did for our brothers during our short time on earth, what we did for “the least of these.”

In spite of her own personal tragedy, Garrett can help us all realize that life goes on and service to others is both a way we can cope and immeasurable in the good it does. While I know the tragedy in our own town is still fresh, I offer this in hopes of providing an example of where good can come from a seemingly hopeless situation.

Mary Ann’s group will be back in town on July 15 at the Kay Theater. If you would like to make a donation toward a dream of transportation for her M.C. Community East, please contact Mary Ann at 254-563-4821 or email her at maryann.garrett@tisd.org.

God bless the families that have faced tragedy recently and we wish them peace as they continue to walk through life.

ken@rockdalereporter.com


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2010-06-10 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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