She Made Me Want To Be Better

1 02 2007

I posted about a half an hour ago about Molly Ivins passing. I guess I just can’t stop, so let me tell you about what Ivins meant to me. I wrote about this earlier this week when I learned she was ill.

In all honesty, she reminded me of my mother, who died in 1998.

She made me want to be better, and have a hard edge with a smile on my face, ignoring adversity. She asked the hard questions, and took a beating sometimes. She never pretended that she wasn’t human, and she made me want to write editorials for a newspaper. She created an environment where she trusted that newspapers had an objective voice, against the odds of ownership and political pressure, regardless of shrill critics.

She made me want to be a part of something bigger than myself through the words she wrote.

So tonight, a star shines brighter, because she’s up there. And there is lump in my throat because, although I never met her, her writing spoke volumes and taught small-town folks like me that you could do better. That being accessible, even through the odds, was of value.

And tonight, liberal girls who know how to spin a line or two, mourn. Because she paved the way.

Go gently into that good night, Ms. Ivins. And thank you.

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4 responses

1 02 2007
Slartibartfast

It may seem silly, but I understand exactly what you’re talking about. I felt the exact same way about Art Buchwald.

May she rest in peace.

1 02 2007
Sara Sue

What a terrible loss for us all. Perhaps, someday, breast cancer will be cured. Until then, I hope we can all contribute to the research to end this nightmare of a disease and it’s horrible treatment. I hope your heart mends soon.

1 02 2007
“The trouble with blaming powerless people is that although it’s not nearly as scary as blaming the powerful, it does miss the point”..Molly Ivins dead at 62 « Salem’s Lots

[…] Update: S-townMike also pays tribute to the great one.  Newscoma was inspired by Molly and inspires me, here. […]

2 02 2007
grandefille

I meant to comment over here earlier about your eloquent post. I believe it would have meant a lot to Miss Molly to read your words, not only because they’re so succinctly and honestly put, but also that you are still fighting the good fight to give a voice to others, too. I still refuse to call those ninnies in Nashville anything but “The Lege” in her honor (although they aren’t as mean as a group as the Texas Lege, they are as clueless), and the only reason I don’t still call Dumbya “Shrub” is because … well, it makes me laugh a little harder.

We are grieving this loss quite a bit around the Chez Fille stables. My mother would always call me with or clip and bring me “GUESS WHAT MOLLY SAYS” updates and we’d always just about wet ourselves agreeing and laughing. (We honored Miss Molly in our family by saying she was “channeling Pearl,” referring to my great-aunt who took no crap and spoke/wrote her mind.) We’d all been commenting lately about how much we missed her columns, and my brother-in-law said, “I wonder if fighting that, plus fighting the good fight like she’s done for so long, has just worn that poor woman out.”

And you know, I have to agree. I have to wonder if the poor darling fought so hard for so long against this murderous moron and his gang of thieves — I mean, she’s been crying out, “Y,all, y’all, LISTEN, PLEASE, we can tell you what he’s like, please don’t let him do these things, he is going to ruin the whole world for us and for all our babies” for so many years — and seeing what has happened despite her pleas and warnings just took all her strength. Like the good Lord said to Saul on the road to Damascus, it is indeed hard for thee to keep kicking against those pricks.

Even though your employees didn’t know Miss Molly (I’m-a tellya, though, if they’re female and newsies, they need to be beat in the head with a hardback copy of Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?), they do what they do in part because of her. Ours is a weird old business, and it’s gals like Miss Molly kicking against the pricks in it that made folks realize that gals could write on the front as well as the society page.

I like E.J. Dionne’s piece in today’s Washington Post about her; he calls her a “happy agitator.”

There are few better epitaphs, I’d say. Other than “Lord, let your laughter ring forth.”

I expect to hear that coming from the Commune this weekend, girlie.

Kisses to y’all. And here’s 50 bucks for yet again hijacking your bandwidth.

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