There are three women I consider the heroes of my lifetime so far.
The first was my grandmother, who from the very beginning, planted the seeds of grit deep down in my spine, who always said to keep my chest out to project confidence even if I didn’t feel self-assured, and to wear lipstick every time I left the house. She taught me to smile even when it’s hard, that I’d catch more flies with honey, that I would never be too old to learn new tricks, and that it’s good to know how to make things with my hands.
Then came Wonder Woman, played by Lynda Carter on our television one night a week. She showed me that costumed or not, each of us possesses unique strength – that it’s up to us to know this is true, that we should never wait for someone else to say so, and that we should use it to do our part to save the world. Our lives may be ordinary, may never be the basis for a movie, but we all have stories worth telling and we are all worthy of surrounding ourselves with people who will love us enough to listen and hold us dear, no matter how the plot twists and turns.
Then came RBG, who despite her short stature, struck me as the tallest person in the room, who had poise and always knew the right thing to say, who fought and won so many battles for women, precious things we now take for granted – which we should not, not now, not ever, not anywhere, for so many reasons, mostly so we’ll never let them slip through our hands. But she also stood up for others struggling to climb the ladder of equality, sharing her strength and conviction with generosity, knowing she had enough of it to go around.
So last night, I crocheted a collar in Ruth’s memory, put on lipstick for the first time in eons (no one sees it behind the mask, so why bother?) to honor my grandmother’s, and wore a cuff to muster some of Wonder Woman’s strength.
This Shabbos, I pray we all find the hero inside ourselves, that we will use our individual powers to make choices for the greater good, that our voices will take flight, reaching G-d’s ear, and that He will grant us the light to see and the wherewithal to patch up all the places where our world is broken.
Gut Shabbos! Shabbat Shalom!
- I made the collar by adapting a pattern by Kristen Stein/ModernLaceCrochet for use with a thicker weight wool.