Lisa Shoalmire, a local attorney, says that her daughter, Samantha Shoalmire, has always been a confident advocate and defender of others. “As a freshman at Texas High, she stepped in between a popular athlete and a special needs student and shamed the athlete for making fun of and taking advantage of the other student,” Lisa says. “Samantha befriended the student and that was the end of it.”
Lisa says that Samantha, who is currently on active duty Air Force as an electronic warfare specialist on the RC-135, has maintained that sense of fairness into adulthood. “While she has matured to an understanding that the world is often more nuanced than just a set of black and white rules, she still strives toward what she believes is right,” Lisa says. “Recently, promotions were announced by the USAF, and a competent, hard-working colleague of Sam’s did not get promoted, and although Samantha was promoted in rank, she was more upset that her colleague did not get promoted than she was in celebrating her own. Sam called me complaining about how inexcusable it was that her friend wasn’t selected for promotion, and she vowed to help him and to continue to encourage him.”
This protective and loyal trait is just one of the things that Lisa loves about her daughter. She also says that Samantha is savvy and perceptive. “She enjoys interacting with people and reserves special care and empathy for struggling seniors and those with disabilities. She also knows nonsense when she sees it,” Lisa says.
Growing up, her favorite memories of Samantha are of her doing special art projects as a toddler (she was meticulous and would have a breakdown if it didn’t come out perfectly), singing along to karaoke on the Nintendo Wii, her letters home from Brookhill Camp, and traveling and cheering her on during dance competition season as a Texas High Highstepper. “It wasn’t at the time, but one of my favorite memories now is the two of us arguing because I wouldn’t let her go to the Four States Fair with her friends, unsupervised, in middle school,” Lisa says. “As an adult, she actually thanked me for caring enough to say no. Parenting win!”
On the other hand, some of Samantha’s favorite memories of her mom include her consistent support and encouragement. Samantha says that even as an incredibly busy, small business owner, Lisa never missed any event, game, or competition that Samantha or her brother, Mason, were involved in. “My mom is extremely dedicated in every aspect of her life. She dedicates all of herself to the things she cares about. She always prioritized us, and I knew whatever I was doing my mom would be right there behind me as my number one supporter,” Samantha says. “She still is.”
It’s clear that Samantha has cultivated her strong desire to protect others from watching her mom do the same. Samantha says that Lisa works in elder law, and she has been a voice for so many who have had their voice taken away due to age, physical limitations, etc. Samantha says that Lisa has always advocated for the care and proper treatment of her clients. “She will always advocate and stand up for what is right even when it is not the easier path. She has a heart for helping others and is the kind of woman with the strength, intelligence and dedication to do it,” Samantha says. “The world really does need more people like her.”
As Samantha has reached adulthood, her relationship with her mom became more of a friendship. “Lisa will always first and foremost be my mom, but I think the coolest part of this time in our life is the friendship that comes with being older,” Samantha says. “On my most recent deployment, mom was always my first call when I needed someone to vent to, lean on, or give some words of encouragement. I know she struggled with me being away, but she was always strong on the phone with me. She told me, as my mom, ‘her place was to comfort me.’ Her strength has always inspired me.”
In the future, the two are looking forward to traveling more together. They have a mother-daughter trip planned for Nashville later this year, and Samantha says they always have fun when they are together. As the years go by, Lisa looks forward to seeing Samantha continue to flourish. She knows that Samantha can do anything she puts her mind to doing. “I hope that Samantha can see herself as the unique, wonderfully made daughter of our Creator that she is,” Lisa says. “Samantha is smart, savvy, beautiful and has an empathetic heart. She has all the tools and traits to be impactful on the world around her. It is going to be fun to watch!”
Questions for Mom, Lisa Shoalmire
1. How did you decide on a name for your daughter?
II had originally thought of naming her “Shelby” after the lead in Steel Magnolias which was filmed while I was in college in Natchitoches, LA. But I thought “Shelby Shoalmire” sounded too much like a country music star stage name, so I switched over to Samantha.
2. What makes you proud of your daughter?
I am proud that when Samantha hit some roadblocks when she went off to college, she had the grit to face her issues and choose for herself a better path through the U.S. Air Force. Choosing to go from a sorority girl to a member of the armed forces was drastic, but her success in her military career speaks for itself (She has won numerous awards, including 55th AMXS Airman of the Year).
3. What advice do you have for young mothers of daughters?
Love your daughters unconditionally and make sure they know that. But do not be their best friend while you are raising them. You will sometimes need space to be their parent, and you will need to be strong enough to be “strongly disliked” by your child when you have to step in and parent them for their own good. You will not always be on this earth for them, so you have to show them how to love and navigate on their own. Also, drive your daughters and their friends around whenever you have a chance…you will learn all kinds of things just listening to the girls talk in the back seat!
Questions for Daughter, Samantha Shoalmire
1. In what ways has your mother influenced your life?
Oh goodness, in what ways hasn’t she? She is truly my role model in every sense. Sometimes when I’m stuck on a problem or frustrated with a situation, I try to think about what my mom would do. She handles everything with such kindness, intelligence, and grace.
2. What is one thing that you see in your mother that you wish she could see in herself?
My mom is seriously so beautiful! She radiates beauty from the inside out, the kind of beauty that people look at whenever she walks into a room, and people gravitate towards. I think another thing I wish she saw herself as is fun; she is so much fun to hang out with. She’s smart, funny, and so witty. I don’t know if these are words she would necessarily use to describe herself, but whenever I talk about her, I always tell people how beautiful and fun she is..
3. What advice do you have for daughters about navigating a good mother/daughter relationship?
I would say my biggest piece of advice is to remember how much your mom loves you. Appreciate her and all she has done in your life. As I’ve gotten a little older, it really is so apparent that few people in your life(if any) will care more about you than your own mom. So just showing gratitude, I believe, goes a really long way.