by peaveym1 on

Illustration by Patricia van Essche

Today, a great American woman will be laid to rest. And rest is what she has earned.

There was no one like her before and there will never be another in the future. This is because Ruth Bader Ginsberg was molded by the time she was given.

She used the time she was given not to scream and yell and complain about what was wrong. She used the time she was given to learn and grow and relate and participate.

She used the time she was given not to fold her arms and stamp her feet in protest. She used the time she was given to give back and mentor and lead when there was no one like her to follow.

I once played Ruth Bader Ginsberg in an improv scene.

She was a dream character.

She was a dream character because she communicated without speaking. Her eyes, her smile and her gait all “spoke” to you before she actually spoke.

This was all I needed to remember in order to play her.

There was nothing about this life of hers that was easy. Not. One. Thing. Even the great love of her life needed her to play many roles to care for him as well as go to school in his place while he was ill.

Can you imagine?

Neither can I.

Nothing stopped this petite force of nature from soaking up every ounce of life she could possibly take from this turn she was given.

She was able to form deep long-lasting friendships with people whose politics differed from hers.

She lived a life devoted to understanding and communicating the rule of law.

She lived in a time when our culture made it hard to make space for a strong woman like her.

She made space for the love of her life to advocate for her when her well-deserved turn and next ascent in life needed advocacy.

She was a master at silence and stature.

She was a master at presence and perseverance.

She was a master of femininity and force.

Let’s salute this American life by being molded by the time we are given. Let’s unfold our arms and find people to mentor. Let’s not complain, let’s relate to one another.

Let’s engage each other with fewer words, greater force and the belief that action will move us much further than anger will.

Let’s honor this great American woman the way she honored everything that was possible in the time she was given.

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