Thursday, March 8, 2018
To Grandma, With Love and Awe
On International Women's Day, I could think of many brave and renowned women whose lives have inspired me, women like Dorothy Day or Eleanor Roosevelt or Teresa of Avila. But the woman who shaped my values and joy more than any other was my paternal grandmother, Lillian Shafer Dudd. Musically gifted, compassionate toward all, and possessing an awe-inspiring intellect, she could also shoot a thieving Red Squirrel out of a bird's nest with her 22, or nurse a Jersey Cow through a life-threatening siege of green-feed bloat, or make the best strawberry shortcake in the whole wide world from berries she grew herself. But most of all, she loved me with all her heart. She made me feel important, worthy, beloved. She was my safe and happy place when other parts of my life were sad or scary. I somehow believe that if everyone could have a grandma like mine, the wounds of the world might be healed.