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Showing posts from October, 2011

A particular clear shade of blue

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My grandmother died on Wednesday morning. She was 93 and it was good that she finally went. She was ready; had been ready for a while, but her puritan sense of duty probably kept her going even when the rest of her wanted to lay down the burden. Mary Tyrrell Ritchie Thayer was a complicated woman, not without contradictions and difficult angles. Her influence on my life has been enormous, incalculable really.

The work I do in my day job now, for reproductive justice, was directly influenced by her own commitment to women's health and intentional motherhood. I will keep analyzing all the ways she shaped me for years to come. I have a feeling there is a book in it. But her influence on me was perhaps most strongly felt in the simple gifts she brought to my topsy turvy childhood.

The following is something I wrote for a memory book my aunt made when Mary turned 90. It was intended for a family audience, so references may be obscure. Don't be too alarmed by the joint. It was the e…