Faith is incredibly important to Tamera Mowry-Housley.
It was her faith that helped her recognize that husband Adam Housley was the one. And it's that faith that the couple, married seven years, are leaning on as they mourn the tragic loss of their niece Alaina Housley, a college freshman killed at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif. last week. As the couple begins to make their pleas for change in how we treat one another, in the hope that Alaina's death might not be in vain, The Real co-host and her former Fox News correspondent husband are reminding us that, even in the face of unthinkable loss, there is nothing that they won't face together, united in their conviction.
It's been nearly a week since the Housley family's lives were all rocked by the senseless loss, since hope that Alaina might be found alive turned to heartbreaking confirmation that the worst had happened, and already Tamera and her family are springing to action in a manner befitting the woman who once told Essence magazine, "I know my priorities: God, family and work."
Taking a break from her day job at The Real to mourn alongside her family in the Housley's second home in Napa, Calif., Tamera and Adam have already found the strength to sit down for an interview with CBS News alongside Alaina's father Arik Housley where they made their mission clear. "Yes, there needs to be a change, but all the noise … nothing's been done," Tamera said.
"If I was to walk out of here and the first thing I was to say was, you know, ‘Gun control,' guess what? Half the country (snaps fingers), [conversation] ends," Adam said.
"And we don't want the conversation to end," his wife added.
"It can't this time," he continued. "We want it to continue."
"We believe that there is a message that's out there," Arik added. "To us, it's to be kind to one another. It's to put down your technology, put down your phones and look at somebody and have a conversation. It's not about gun control; this message is about doing something bigger, to be with your community, to love one another."
"To get to the point where we can have a conversation about anything political, it has to start here," Adam said, pointing to his heart. "It has to start with the soul, because we've lost that."
Alaina was laid to rest in Napa on Sunday in a moment that brought members of the community to line the path along the streets to honor her and her family. "Humbled by how many lives Alaina touched and how many people..several thousand lined the streets to welcome my niece home where she belongs," Adam wrote as he shared a photo of people lining the streets. "People were hugging, saying hello...from all walks of life. It's the way things ought to be in this country. Live, love and respect."
And while life has had to go on in some ways—Tamera and Adam made sure to celebrate their son Aden's sixth birthday on Monday—it's also changed irreparably. The family has launched a foundation, Alaina's Voice, with a mission to "unite us and push for leadership in our country to finally step up."
As Tamera takes her time away from The Real to continue to mourn and find a way forward in the face of this unspeakable tragedy, she does so with a family united in faith; faith that we can make real, lasting change, faith that there must be a better way. As her co-host Adrienne Houghton read during Monday's broadcast on her behalf, she wanted the world to know, "Thank you for always believing in the Housleys. The Housleys will be strong. We will never let Alaina or any other victim of gun violence die in vain."
Via Adrienne, Tamera also pledged to "do everything she can to make sure that our children and our community feels safe. She said, 'Enough is enough. She said she will never give up fighting until her dying day."
Adam also had a message he wanted the women of The Real to relay: "While we're helping these gun laws and trying to make that happen, before we can even get a consistent national gun policy, we have to understand that we as a country and as a society are at a crossroads. The hatred, the judgment, the polarization and the lack of heart. We are going to make a change I can guarantee it, and Alaina is with us as we do this."
This may not be the fight that Tamera and her family ever hoped to find themselves on the front lines of, but a tragic twist of fate has found them there. And it's through their faith and their dedication to one another that they're quickly becoming leaders in a cause that sorely needs one. And that's something worth believing in.