Saturday, September 12, 2009

My namesake

I was named after two strong, wonderful women: Sarah Bernhardt and my grandmother, Sarah D. Hartshorne. Although they were very different, they both held true to their values in the face of incredible obstacles, played it close to the chest, and did wonderful things for the world.

My grandmother was beautiful, although I think she didn't know it. Her mother was a renowned beauty, and Sarah felt like an ugly duckling growing up. She raised four sons and welcomed her home to them and their families at any time, at a moment's notice. At the same time, she taught, got her PhD, and was an intellectual giant.

She was not, like Bernhardt, a traditional mother or grandmother. She was always honest with me, even when I was very young. She spoke to me like a person, not a little girl. My father always credits her for making him bookish, as do I.

Here is a video of her making cookies with my cousin and I. This video shows, among other things, how giant and gangly my hands and feet are, and how beautiful my grandmother was.

She will be greatly missed.

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