Kaufman County Court at Law Judge Tracy Gray

KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas — To say the year 2020 has been "challenging" is like saying traffic in Forney is "moderate." From the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, to protesting, to the Presidential election, this year has been a lot.

Like everyone else, those of us who work at the courthouse have had to change the way we do things on almost a daily basis to meet Kaufman County citizens' needs. But, the sacrifices and changes we have had to endure pale in comparison to others in our community to whom we owe much gratitude this Thanksgiving.

As Judge of the Kaufman County Court at Law, I have the privilege of working with our first responders daily. These outstanding men and women have been at the forefront of every significant issue that has made 2020 unique. The police, fire, and EMTs of Kaufman County continue to answer the call with the utmost professionalism to keep us safe while risking their health and well-being. We are blessed to have the absolute best watching out for us in Kaufman County, and we should all give thanks for their heroic service.

Another exemplary group who we need to remember this Thanksgiving are healthcare professionals. Since early this Spring, when COVID-19 swept across the country, our healthcare professionals have been on the front lines working for weeks on end with little to no time off.

They do this life-saving work despite knowing that they are at high risk of catching COVID-19 and may have to go long periods without seeing their loved ones to not expose others to any illness in which they might have come in contact. Their sacrifice is great, and their service has saved countless lives.

The last group I want to recognize are our educators. As a mom of 7-year old twin girls, I can tell you that educating children is not easy under the best of circumstances. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to teach our children while ensuring everyone is social distancing and wearing proper masks or shields. My husband and I can't even get our girls to keep their hands to themselves in our truck on the way to school.

Let's also not forget about all the educators teaching all the kids at home through Zoom and other online platforms. After enduring the most extended Spring Break ever with my precious darlings, I'm convinced that whatever teachers get paid, it's not enough.

Thank goodness for us they don't teach for the money; they teach because they love our kids. Please take the time to give thanks to these selfless and invaluable individuals. As parents, our sanity depends on them.

Amid all the unrest and uncertainty, we still have so much for which to be thankful. Please join me and give thanks to these men and women who have held our community together. They are the true heroes of 2020.

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!