When Kimberly Rubio wants to talk about her late daughter Lexi, she turns to a group of women who know exactly how she is feeling, according to a new ABC News Nightline interview with Maria Elena Salinas. Lexi was one of the 19 students killed in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in May of last year.
The other mothers that were present during this interview, and that have formed a special friendship, were Gloria Cazares, mother of Jackie Cazares; Veronica Mata, mother of Tess Mata; and Ana Rodriguez, mother of Maite Rodriguez. Their daughters, too, were victims on that tragic day.
“If you were to speak to a family member, they want to fix it for you; and you can’t fix this,” Rubio told Nightline. “I just want to be heard, and I want someone who understands. Only these women understand.”
It is through their shared grief that these women find the strength to get through each day as it comes. Rodriguez describes it as “a club [no one] wants to be a part of.”
Cazares said it’s a group of women that she feels comfortable around – whether she wants to laugh or cry – and never feel judged by them. “I feel that connection with them because of the girls,” she said. “I feel like if I don’t talk to them, I’m missing a part of Tess.”
Besides meeting up to talk or to share a meal, the mothers enjoy visiting the murals that were painted in honor of their daughters. “I love the murals,” Rubio said. “If I have to go somewhere, it’s the murals because there’s a little bit of joy. They’re beautiful.”
For Mata, the friendships she’s made through this tragedy are ones that she is going to embrace forever. “It’s going to be a lifelong relationship that we’re always going to have,” she said.
Rubio adds: “I sometimes like to think it’s the relationship our children would’ve had.”
To watch the full interview with the Uvalde mothers, click here.