Tammy Grays Releases Relentless Faith – Her Journey to 24 Strong
For a parent, one of the most precious moments that can be experienced is the birth of their child(ren). Wether one or more, when you look into that little person, whom you created, eyes, you see their life flashing with accomplishments and eagerness to learn from you. That love is something that no one can take away from you, or the shared love that your child has for you. God gave you a special gift that keeps giving. For some, and many, when you have a child the giving tends to be the rollercoaster of emotions, the forever “I’m Sorries”, and the constant happiness and laughter that excels with every step taken along the way.
Tammy Grays , author of Relentless Faith: My Journey to 24 Strong(click link for purchase), gave birth to her son Robert Tyree Grays in 1998. Gifted and full of Joy, he naturally excelled in everything. School, sports, church, family outings, you name it, he always did it with respect, dignity and with a smile large enough to illuminate the room and the world. As parents, Tammy and Robert, her husband name is Robert as well, always made sure to put their children first: Derrick, Tyree (Robert), and Trinity. Every step they took together, they made sure to be the example that their children would model after.
Throughout the growing years of their children, everyone took liking to their own, essentially getting ready to go on their own paths. Tyree, as he was called by family and friends, chose football early on in life and as always became one of the greatest the sport has ever seen. While attending Hightower High School in Missouri City, he was a two-time, first-team all-district performer, helping the Hurricanes to three league titles. His God given talent was going to take him far!
On September 16, 2017, one football night, Tyree was completing a play with only 3:24 on the clock. As a Midwestern-State cornerback, he had the route covered. He played an integral part in helping the Mustangs to an NCAA Division II playoff appearance and an 8-3 record as a true freshman which included a start in his collegiate debut. He finished the campaign with 24 tackles, while also helping out on special teams as a return specialist. However, during the play, he suffered a severe neck injury and was transported to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center in his hometown of Houston. He passed away that Tuesday, September 19, at the age of 19, he was a sophomore.
The hardest thing for parents to do is bury a child. The journey isn’t even close to being easier, but harder to where the questioning of self and all else falls. Tammy had to find herself and who she was all over again and the journey was less than easy.
“For me, Tyree’s death was paralyzing. Although it felt like my life had stopped, it didn’t for everyone else. I was quickly reminded that life goes on and that I had to keep moving and living.”
In her book, she details her life from a young lady, leading up to that day and her journey from that moment on. The reason behind her number 24 is that it’s her favorite number and the jersey number that Tyree wore in football. She wrote this book not only for herself, but mainly to show others that have lost a child or close loved one, that this journey takes time, on your own time. Each person experiences something different emotionally but it’s the shared experiences and emotions that can be related to help others along their journey.
In honor of her late son, Robert Tyree Grays, Tammy and her husband Robert have created the 24Strong Foundation, which helps future student athletes further their academic careers.
This book is more than worth a read, it’s needed for everyone. The transparency, relatability and truth that she shows throughout this book are shown and can be transcended amongst all demographics. Everyone has experienced a devastating loss, but our journey through it is what makes us stronger in courage, love, and having Relentless Faith. We are all on a journey to being something greater, 24Strong.