It was never my intent to grow up to be just like my grandmother. And I would not be so bold as to say that’s what happened. But she is a pillar of strength and inspiration in my memory.
My grandmother was never one to allow an injustice she perceived to pass unchallenged. She always spoke her mind and stood up for what she believed in. She would push the envelope if she thought it would bring comfort, hope, or security to one more person. Grandma was always working on a project or a campaign, going and going. And now she’s gone, off to the next adventure.
As a humanist, my grandmother didn’t put a whole lot of stock in the ministry. So it probably shouldn’t have come as a surprise that when I announced I was going to seminary to become a Unitarian Universalist minister, her response was less than enthusiastic. What I never got to say in so many words was that in entering the ministry, I was trying to live up to the high example she had set. But I think she knew. She spent her life working to serve justice and human rights, and I think that by the time she passed, she knew that I was trying to make her proud.
So my goal is not precisely to grow up to be my grandmother. But I hope I spend the rest of my life carrying the flame she lit within me.