May 31st, 2021
My mom was fearless.
At least, that’s what she led people to believe.
That, by nature, she was bold and wasn’t scared of nothin’.
In reality, though, she was human.
Green Lanterns, if you don’t know, are heroes who are part of an intergalactic Corp that protect our multiverse. They use rings that generate energy to blast and construct; those rings work through the user’s control over their own will power.
Hal Jordan is known as one of the greatest Green Lanterns ever to live. He was also considered by many to be “fearless.”
He and my mom had a lot in common. Both were human, and neither were fearless.
They were both able to overcome great fear, and that is what made them something to behold and someone to admire.
I saw the fear in my mom’s eyes every time we drove over ice; every time I got home too late and she was obsessively worried over where I had been; every time she asked me whether I thought her skin looked yellow.
That fear was real, it was deep, and it was achingly human.
That she was able to transcend it, to embrace life and all of the people in it, is an act far braver than being without fear.
It’s not about not being scared. It’s about being scared and living life to its fullest, anyway.
She was a superhero in every sense of the word.
Today, May 31st, is her birthday. She would have been 59, which is young to be alive and tragic to be gone.
I miss her.
But I use that ability, to try and overcome human fallibility, to remember and honor her.
Because I’m not without these human failings. (You know this, I have a lot, it’s not a secret.) But she showed me that’s where our strength comes from. Happy birthday, wherever in the universe you’ve found yourself.