A green light to greatness.®

ts2013


Build it and They Will Come

"Let’s wake the bastards up,” are the first words I hear. I’ve entered the darkened control room that looks out onto the inmate population of the county jail, and within thirty seconds I realize that I’m going to have a huge problem fitting in.

I take a seat in one of the empty chairs, my presence ignored by the four uniformed deputies, including Corporal McCully. He is one of five people who interviewed me for the position. After about ten minutes, he informs me that Carla, the woman training me, is late. Another five minutes pass, and Carla breezes into the room. Hair bleached blonde, colorful clothes, and lime-green Croc sandals, she is the physical antithesis of the other deputies. With her presence, I feel less alone and, for some reason, less guilty, relieved at where I’ve found myself—behind bars.

- See more at: http://www.themayborn.com/article/build-it-and-they-will-come#sthash.eqq...

Unveiling Hope

Sweat collects under the hijab that hides her long brown hair. The crowded bus emits a pungent odor of stale sweat and garlic, but she is not offended. Jami glances at her sister, Jenna, who does not wear a hijab; her sunlit mane flows to her waist. Freedom not to wear the hijab was a birthday gift from their Dad this year, when Jenna turned fifteen. She begged for it tirelessly. Funny, Jami never considered asking for such a lofty present. - See more at: http://www.themayborn.com/article/unveiling-hope#sthash.7tvySvJW.dpuf

The Girl Who Walked Across Fire

The coals are crunchy. They have been burning for hours, are fresh and hot—somewhere in the neighborhood of 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. The people lining up to walk across them are barefoot, jeans rolled up so a fraying hem string doesn’t catch and light legs up. They have been told to walk. Running leads to tripping, they are told, and no one wants a burned face. I’m not sure why faces will burn but bare feet won’t, but this is what we are told. To take off shoes, roll up our pants, look up. To say “Cool Moss” as a mantra. And then to walk calmly, powerfully, straight into the fire. - See more at: http://www.themayborn.com/article/girl-who-walked-across-fire#sthash.1Jh...

Where the Wild Things Are

Ethan is 7 years old. He’s lived in this apartment his whole life where ten nurses and teachers and doctors and therapists keep vigil over him, testing his blood, his eyes, his heart, his lungs, his ears and his mind. He’s 7 years old, and he only steps outside every other weekend when he is transported to another room in another apartment. Ethan is 7 years old and has never spoken a word. Nor has he ever seen anything that was not within six inches of his face. He has metal devices in his ears like steel antennas and cannot swallow without aspirating. He’ll need heart surgery soon. - See more at: http://www.themayborn.com/article/where-wild-things-are#sthash.YtzwXFU3....

Red Stilettos

I hated my wedding. It’s fifty years later, and I still can’t help thinking back to my sister Lily’s wedding with envy in my heart. It wasn’t about the venue, the dress or the food. My wedding was far more elaborate than Lily’s.

My jealousy is about my father.

Every young girl needs the protection and support of her father when choosing a life partner. Just as my father shrewdly appraised Philip Bogdonoff when he came to court my sister Lily, he would have loved probing the incisive intelligence of the young medical student who came for me. But it was not to be.

A Cigarette on the Champs-Elysées

It is the most famous street in the most beautiful city in the world, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, a mile and a quarter of architectural wonder and opulence that crosses through the heart of Paris.

For more than 400 years, the rich and poor, the best and worst have traveled along the granite blocks that form that magnificent thoroughfare. It extends less than a mile and a quarter, runs northwest to connect the Place de la Concorde to Napoleon Bonaparte’s Arc de Triomphe, but it leads its travelers in whatever direction they choose.

Samuel is Teething

Samuel is teething. His gums are swollen with the wait, alternating between itching and aching for weeks. Mercifully, he’s asleep.

Shauna Garcia, his young mother, shifts the drowsy toddler from her left side to her right, trying her best not to wake the boy as she reaches for her purse on the floor beneath the courtroom’s wooden bench. He isn’t hungry, she knows that, but when his gums start bothering him, she’s learned a bottle is the best remedy to help everyone around them maintain their sanity.

Shauna and Samuel have been sitting in a child support hearing now for over three hours. Shauna was told that the weeks she’d spent arguing with Samuel’s father, Tony Sona, about an agreed order for child support and paternity would be “in everybody’s best interest.” And today—proud she’d finally talked him into attending the hearing—would be her reward: some certainty her son would be acknowledged and cared for.

Reunited: A Father's Love, A Daughter's Choice

He is standing alone outside the train station in downtown Dallas, armed with a cell that can’t seem to lose my phone number. Barely 5 feet tall, his bean-brown skin is boiled from years of pushing lawn mowers in the Texas sun.

A brisk March breeze cuts through the near empty city streets this Saturday morning, tunneling down Young Street, where he’s waiting for a ride. Waiting for me. He’s been waiting for years.

Ben Hernandez wants me to visit his home again. He wants pictures of my son, and a relationship.

After 25 years, he wants to be my father again.

Ten Spurs 2013

There’s a dog barking in the distance. I can hear the neighborhood kids playing outside, enjoying a temperate summer evening, an anomaly in North Texas. I want to talk to my fiancée. Or go for a walk. Or play with the dog. I’m tempted to check Facebook, Twitter, email, text messages, the scores of four or five different games. There are so many great stories to read.