Although the goal was to pass the law, what Melina really requested and what this law honors is the humanization of medicine. That was all that my daughter thought while she was dying and going through those painful treatments. Melina inspires me still. Every March 1, I am the one who says, "Many people, thanks to you, today can choose how to leave this world."
I teach possibilities. Dreaming is possible, and I let children dream in my class. Hundreds of children have passed through this dance program. They’ve learned much more than just steps; they’re dancing their way out of hopelessness.
It was a terrible, sinking feeling to be in such a remote place, several days away from the mainland, and look out from our boat deck and see large plastic objects bobbing around: balloons, buoys, even a punctured ball. We were in the middle of nowhere, yet there was always something floating near us and microplastics in our water samples.
The dozen or so FSB officers showed no mercy; they shoved my husband to the ground so that he bruised his forehead. Our girl cried out “Daddy, daddy!” when she saw the masked, armed men holding her father.
The reactions to the finished tattoos vary as much as the stories behind each scar and burn. Some, when the artwork is revealed, have a muted reaction, while others hug me and start crying. The only thing that doesn't change is my own emotion.
When people ask me why I forgave Rodney, I tell them: my son Kalen was not about hatred or violence or pain. He was about love and forgiveness, and my decision to forgive Rodney was an act to honor my son’s spirit.
I didn’t know any details about how many had died until days later. When I saw the names of the deceased, everything blurred for an instant. Fear filled me as I realized what I had lived through.
We are going to die; that is obvious. The certainty of death invites me to a task related to life; to live better. Death is a great advisor, calling us to live in the present.
I see human waste floating like dead fish around me. A skin-crawling mix of insects, drain flies, and spiders stick to the pipes and walls and swarm around me. I risk my life with each breath.
Standing on top of the podium with the gold medal around my neck and the national flag of India raised above me, goosebumps covered my arms and tears stood in my eyes.
Out on the street, I saw that someone had spray painted “Gay Journalist” in big letters across my car. I felt myself sink down into what would become months of depression.