It was the day after my twenty-ninth birthday and I was pregnant with my first son. I was working at a hospital foundation and Josh worked there too, although we were just friends and coworkers then. Mary, our other left-leaning colleague got a call from her husband and she came to find me and Josh to say that Paul Wellstone's plane had gone down near Eveleth, MN. We turned on public radio and stared at each other with a numb disbelief as we listened to the coverage that Senator Wellstone, his wife Sheila, his daughter Marcia, and campaign workers Mary McEvoy, Tom Lapic and Will McLauglin were dead.
Ten years later, when I think about Paul and what could have been, I still get tears in my eyes. Paul Wellstone was one of the reasons I moved to Minnesota when I was a young woman. I wanted people who were smart enough to elect such a fearless, unapologetic voice for justice to be my neighbors. Josh remembers him from his days working on campaigns as a person who took the time to know people's names no matter what level they were at. Senator Wellstone cared about people and he never wavered from his belief that "we all do better when we all do better."
I think I'm just going to keep crying about this loss until there are more people in politics trying to fill his shoes.