The day my grandmother died I wasn’t sad. There was a sense of relief. After seeing my 84-year-old grandmother suffer through months of kidney failure in hospice I knew her death would bring her peace. And although hard to deal with, I knew I’d be fine as well. The beginning of the end
Two years ago my grandmother was hospitalized with a bowel obstruction and told she was in kidney failure.
We landed and exited the plane and I couldn’t believe I was here. I was the first person in my family to travel to Italy; the airport was packed with people. I heard so many different languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French and a language I thought was Russian or maybe German. The passport officer, looked me up and down opened my passport and stamped it: Roma- Italia- Fiumicino- EU: 23/05/17. I still couldn’t believe it, I was in another country, I was 6,000 miles away from home.
Putting layers of Elmer’s glue on his eyebrows is the first step in creating a perfect look. Alexander Wright, who goes by the stage name Rumor, will spend most of his Saturday planning the perfect drag performance. Five hours of the day will be dedicated to applying make-up, and the rest will go toward selecting a variety of dresses and songs for the night’s performance. “Drag is an artistry, you get to create different concepts and test your creativity,” said Wright, who has been doing drag for a year and is currently the reigning Sun City Miss Pride. “Applying makeup is like an oil painting from afar it looks great and cute, but when you get close, you can see all the railroad tracks.”
His first performance was at a local benefit show at Touch Bar and Nightclub in East El Paso.
As a child growing up in Ciudad Juarez, Alexis Mesta loved racing his bike with his neighborhood friends and watching Saturday morning cartoons on TV, especially Courage the Cowardly Dog. He loved eating his grandma’s homemade food and spending time with her. He says he was a carefree, well-adjusted boy, blessed with loving parents who wanted the best for him.
That life ended when, as a teenager, he moved alone to El Paso to create a new life for himself and help his family. Today, Mesta, 22, works two jobs, studies for his master’s in business administration at UTEP and has sponsored his mom, dad, sister and brother to live in the U.S.
“I wanted to sponsor my family because I wanted my brother and sister to have the same advantages that I did,” said Mesta, who was born in El Paso and is a U.S. citizen.
When you have one of the most important jobs in the world, defending a nation, you must be physically fit. As a combat medic specialist providing emergency medical treatment to wounded soldiers, one must be strong minded, too. “It’s good being physically fit as it allows you to help casualties. Mentally you have to be fit so you can continue to think about higher-level care,” said Joshua Mutchler, a combat medic. In the field, combat medics are first responders to help wounded soldiers.