Parker County Today April 2017 - Page 27

C ourageous M om — KAYE JORDAN Gold Star Mom: She Finds A New Purpose In Life After The Death Of Her Only Child BY MISTY BROWNING K Soldier Springs Park.” Jordan began raising money for the park in 2012, never stopping until she hit her $305,000 mark earlier this year. The park is currently under construction with the dirt work and pad being laid down for the pavilion. The goal is to have the park open by Veterans Day, with the pave stones being put in around the mountain not long after that.  Recent vandalism with paint near the memorial concerned Jordan since supplies are starting to arrive. At the writing of this article, investigators with the Weatherford Police Department believe that the damage was done by kids who didn’t know any better.  “People don’t grasp that this place honors those who have died for them,” Jordan said. “It’s a place for our kids to [be remembered], and [it] means the world to the families. I don’t want our boys and others who were killed to be forgotten. I found the purpose for my life, and it’s my kid. I want to make sure he is remembered and I will do that for as long as I can.”  For turning tragedy into triumph, Kaye Jordan is one of our Courageous Moms. aye Jordan always knew that she wanted to be a little boy’s mom. When she was pregnant and people asked her if she was having a girl, she was adamant that she would be having a boy.  “I was 30 and working for a physical therapy clinic when I had Austin, and had asked God for one kid, and please let me have a boy,” Jordan explained. “All I wanted was one child and I wanted him to be a boy.”  Austin was born a month premature, weighing 5 pounds and 1 ounce. She had him home for almost two weeks when his weight began to drop, forcing him to go back to the hospi- tal with dehydration and hypothermia. He spent a week in the hospital and came home healthy, remaining so for the rest of his life.  “Austin was healthy and loved being outdoors,” Jordan said. “We used to roller blade and ride bikes together. He played sports with his stepbrothers, but wasn’t an athletic-type of kid. He was happy and fun to be around.” Austin joined the Army as a fire support specialist in September 2009, and was deployed overseas in August 2010. On Nov. 29, 2010, Austin was killed in action in Afghanistan. Naturally, Jordan was devastated, losing a piece of her heart. Austin was the best thing that had ever happened to her, leav- ing behind his now-8-year-old son Kallen. Jordan now keeps Austin’s memory alive for Kallen. “I love sharing Austin’s stories with Kallen,” she said. “Kallen was born when Austin was 18, so his goal was to come back to Texas so he would be close to Kallen, and work within the police department with a specialized unit. No one knows the plan for their life. No one knows when they will leave their kid.”  When asked how she is doing after losing Austin, she said, “I have my good days and I have my bad days. Sometimes it’s like a scab just ripped open and I miss him so bad it hurts. I know Austin would not want me to be sad.” Jordan has just returned from a trip to Disney World with Kallen, sharing with him Austin’s love of amusement parks and roller coasters.  “Kallen had the experience of the lifetime. He has told people he watched a guy wrestling an alligator. I thank God for Kallen, because I don’t know what I would do without him.” After Austin’s death, Jordan’s life was turned upside down and her purpose in life changed. The yoga teacher and personal trainer made it her life mission to start Parker County Gold Star Families and create a veterans memorial park. PCGSF’s purpose is to honor the memory of those who have fought and died for their country. For Jordan, this park is a place not just to remem- ber Austin, but a place to remind the community of the sacrifice of all American soldiers.  “When you put your personal story out to the public, it does make you vulnerable to others as well as your own feelings,” Jordan said. “Our soldiers help to make our world a better place with the help of our Lord. We are working hard to keep our boys close to us and hope all will enjoy our prayer garden at 25