My mother Lillian was my all-time closest friend. She taught me to speak the truth and to stand up for my convictions. She was quick to forgive me and to ask my forgiveness. She bared her soul to me.
I learned from her how to make lists, to ask questions about everything, to embrace warmly, to listen to others and to enjoy heart-touching beautiful music. She was scrupulously honest. She hated lies, cigarettes and injustice.
From her decades of junk food addiction, not enough exercise and being very fat, she suffered severe illness. She accumulated much stuff she did not need, yet she longed to live simply. So I have become strongly devoted to healthy food, vigorous exercise and living simply.
She spoke up for the underdog. She expressed her feelings intensely—love, sorrow, romance, rage and laughter. Young at heart and treasuring freedom, she hated attempts to put her on the shelf as a quiet, tame old lady.
After she died in 1982, I felt the overwhelming homesickness for her that she felt for me when I would leave our Illinois farm to return to Albuquerque. She would go to the stairway (my bedroom was upstairs) and call out my name. Then, she would listen to the silence and cry passionately from the depths of her heart.
For her epitaph on her gravestone, I chose these words: "Deep feelings, strong determination, and how she loved to give."
I wish I had seen and said all these things much more to her than I did when she was alive.
The best way to honor our departed loved ones is to keep reaching out as long as we live—to be a better, wiser friend to those alive because of the love and lessons from our loved ones passed away.
Save the Mural
This letter regards the disassembling of the youth-created mural (per former Mayor Jim Baca's Arts Summer Institute) on the main Downtown public library.
I am writing in search of an opportunity to communicate my concerns to the public over the desecration of the mural that was created by youth in 1999 on the main public library in downtown Albuquerque. I do not want to see the mural taken down permanently.
I was an active student participant in the design and execution of that public artwork. In 1999, I was also the media representative concerning the controversy around the location and execution of the mural. That summer, to me, was one of the most meaningful, fulfilling times in my life, and it breaks my heart to see it come down due to building restructuring and remodeling, especially since the reason for the controversy in the first place was to not alter the building itself (which was referred to as an "architectural gem"). In addition, I find it discouraging to the youth of New Mexico, sending a message that when they do make a positive contribution to society, it will not last and it is not valued. (And people wonder why our youth gets into trouble nowadays.)
I would like to voice my views to the public in hopes that we will be able to find another home for the mural. Please, if you are interested, you can contact me via the following: firstname.lastname@example.org
Megan M. Montaño
Just Two Things
If I could only say one or two things about Jim Scarantino's article this week ("Muddy Otero Mesa," July 21-28), I would first correct his statement that I "finally received the promised supporting data from Capra." The material that Mr. Capra sent was missing key sections. I spoke of that important problem to both Capra and Scarantino before the article was written.
Perhaps, if Capra were more forthcoming, I might even find enough supporting information to side closer with him on his estimates of ground water supply.
But I can't get too worked up over it. The focus of my original op-ed that Scarantino cited was actually on the inequity in media coverage between Otero Mesa and Crownpoint, N.M. I think the battle between ENDAUM (Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining) and a complex of governmental and commercial interests is a much bigger story, if only because the drinking water supply of 15,000 people is now at stake.
Sound of Silence
What has silenced the Republicans as their party leaders are lying to the public about why we went to war in Iraq, putting our national security at risk to cover up their lies and instituting new ways for government to intrude into our private lives.
I was raised with Republicans that were principled, who valued honesty, integrity and personal freedom and would have been abhorred to see what these new Republican leaders are doing in their name. I hear individual Republicans speaking out against these strong-arm tactics, but rarely in the public discussion
As far-fetched as it seems, is something being put in the water or is there a man with a little moustache nearby?
In awe of the missing voices,
Mr. Bush, we are not simpletons, please don't treat us as such. Which is more important to you, your loyalty to your "friend" Mr. Rove, or your solemn pledge to uphold the Constitution and the laws of this great nation?
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