I am a bibliophile. I will attest to this without pause. Therefore, I was surprised when I stumbled upon a list of 1001 books you should read in a lifetime. There are 3 editions of this list for a total of 1294 books. I decided that my measly 37 books from this list is unacceptable. That number would have been fewer without my World Literature elective in High School.
I have been a reader for about 2 decades (as I am 25) and decided I need to up the quality of my reading to tackle a portion of this list. After finishing The Help, which is my book club’s book for April, I dug right in. I’m now reading 1984, A Christmas Carol, and Cat’s Cradle. It will take me several years to become better read and tackle any major portion of this list, but at least I will be closer to having read a respectable number of these books with each individual completion. I also plan to update my progress on the list every so often and am posting it as a little page on my blog so you can follow along or steal the list for your own neurotic reader purposes.
Today is International Women’s Day! 2011 is an especially important year because it is the centenary. This year’s theme is Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women. There are about 1700 official events taking place all over the world in celebration of IWD, including a celebration cosponsored by Google where women are meeting on bridges all over the world to show solidarity and support for women’s issues. The Public Service Announcement I’ve included is one of my favorite pieces of awareness for IWD. It highlights some of the staggering statistics that still plague social progress for women in education, economic stability, and the dangers of becoming a parent, not to mention the difficulty of entering political office and domestic abuse.
Although I like the PSA really well, I think that every day should be International Women’s Day. If people don’t fight for women every day strides are lost, a bit at a time. It’s important to think about women’s issues for all of us because it effects all of us.
My grandmother passed away suddenly on February 27th, 2011. She was 82 years old. Her obituary is posted here. Those of you who have read this blog for a bit will know that my paternal grandmother passed away in October after a fight with dementia and congenital heart disease. It has been a difficult winter in my family for grandmothers. The doctors are guessing that she had a heart attack, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
H and I took the week off from work and drove home. We spent a few days cleaning, sorting, and organizing everything to make sure that my grandfather’s transition into the nursing home will be as easy as possible. They were married for 63 years, which is impressive by anyone’s standards. She will be remembered as a kind soul and excellent caregiver. I will miss her immensely and am sad that I did not make more effort to call them on a regular basis. I know that death sneaks up on us all, but I hope this will be an opportunity for me to be a better grandchild to my grandpa.
I have been considering a tattoo of the words, “Sometimes when you fall, you fly” as a reminder to myself to be brave, a sentiment from which most of us could benefit. I think now, I may incorporate a bit of my grandmothers into that tattoo. As they were named Violet and Ruby, I am thinking I will put two flowers with the words. A purple Viola odorata for Grandma Violet and a Viola Cornuta Arkwright Ruby for my Grandma Ruby.
I am grateful that she had an easy passing without pain or difficulty, but it doesn’t make saying goodbye any easier. I plan to start writing to my grandfather every week, too. I want to make sure he feels loved, because he has lost half of himself, which would be devastating at any time, but especially after 63 years of marriage and without warning.