To the editor: Recently I received a thank you letter from Taryn Hughes for donating to her political campaign for House District 5. I turned the envelope over in my hand, remembering the first letter I received from Taryn years ago. I was at Harborview hospital’s burn unit sharing a room with my fourth (last and best) hospital-appointed roommate. My then partner who I had gone through the propane explosion with had already been discharged; it was a lonely and hard time. Taryn’s husband, Ben, took the time to drop off a present from Taryn, which included a letter sealed with the inscription “Open on a bad day.” I’m not a very obedient person, but acting under some motivation, maybe the innate knowledge that this was not a bad day, that there would be others far more challenging in the future, or a trust in Taryn that she’d written this letter knowing it would support me when I needed it most, I didn’t open that letter until months later. I still have that letter and reread it when I need to recall the support I have within this community.
Taryn is capable of quick, intuitive and protective action and has a parent’s understanding of what to do in crisis and how to support long-term success. She knows when to act and how to support. When I taught my first yoga class after the explosion, Taryn made sure to show up. We attended each other’s classes and workshops, studio to studio in Fairbanks. This is the type of support and love I receive, and our community receives, from Taryn.
In the mix of drudgery and high anxiety that is 2020, I am brought a glimmer of hope at the prospect of Taryn holding political office. It reminds me of my first letter from her, the one I kept unopened and brought home, remembering it through that endlessly difficult winter, knowing I had a good friend’s words to carry me through. I hope those of you in House District 5 vote in the Aug. 18 primary election. I know I will be.