My mom will tell you I never write about her. I’ve got poems, plays and stories about other family members, but nothing like that about her.
One of my favorite conversation starters is to ask people, “What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?” Over the years I’ve gotten some amazing answers, everything from running into a burning building, to saving a Chihuahua from drowning in a large fish tank (it was brave ‘cause he hated that little dog). What I’ve learned is that bravery is an individual thing. It’s a person pushing up against his or her own fear to do something, no matter how big or small. Asking this question of other people has also helped me define my own story of bravery. It helped me understand who I was and what I was willing to do, specifically for the people I love. I was comfortable with that for years. Until recently.
This year in July, I find myself staring up at the night sky in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I don’t know how it happens, but every year for “State of the Re:Union,” during July or August for the past four years I’ve been in the Southwest, usually outside of Tucson, bordering the Sonoran desert. Something keeps bringing me back.