Friday, March 8, 2019

To My 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.

This is the same tribute I posted a year ago on International Women's Day.  But the sentiment remains as true for me today as ever, and so I am happy to post it again.  Most of all, I wanted to look once more at her dear face, remembering the loving gaze she always turned on me.  Today, while reading all the tributes to women of power, influence, and accomplishment who have made their marks on the larger world, I thought it important to also honor the mothers and grandmas whose many acts of loving kindness may never be known to that larger world, but whose impact has been immeasurable.


Bill and dogs said...

A lovely tribute and a great old photo. Thank you for this post.

Jan said...

Love this. She sounds like she was an amazing woman!

Love your blog