My mother never held my hand.

She held my father’s hand, though, whenever we crossed a street. If he ever forgot or pretended to forget, she would scold him and trap his hand with her fingers. It is too dangerous, she would say. You need me. You do not know this country.

She met my father during a trip to Mongolia. Neither one told me how an austere billionaire found a poor Mongolian farmer and brought him back to America. They were engaged immediately. She bought him an apartment in the same building as her penthouse, and she paid for his food and transportation and English lessons. All she asked was that he love her completely.

My father tells me my mother was a hero.

Josh deLacy