We lived in the City of Angels.
Our home surrounded by a white picket fence—a sturdy pine in the yard.
From one of its thick branches,
our daughter’s swing hung.
My husband Yorgos was born in Greece,
immigrating to study with Feynman at Caltech,
where we married.
After we started our family,
Yorgos bought two guns to keep us safe
after an unsettling experience.
They were kept secured.
Until one day, they weren’t.
In 2012, Yorgos died by gun suicide.
Suddenly, unexpectedly, a widow: empty.
A NASA Badge, a Mission and Purpose.
Fulfilling a Promise.
Now, I choose not to feel empty.
I choose a new life—
A life of consequence.
A life where love grows from tragedy.
Until Everytown, no one ever asked what I miss about Yorgos.
I miss our drives, catching up on the day, listening to music.
I miss attending lectures and movies together.
I miss him telling our daughter stories and talking to her about math.
I miss browsing bookstores together.
I miss him complaining about pine needles in the yard.
You do not think it could happen to you
until it does.
The pine is still there; Yorgos is not.
The memory of him survives.
May it be a continued blessing
As we work to end gun violence.