election

How Dr. Ruth, My Grandmother, Gave Me Hope Post-Election

dr. ruth

My grandma is by far one of the most important people in my life. I am grateful to wake up everyday knowing that one of the people most special to me has lived an incredible, challenging, successful, and at times, heartbreaking life.

So if she says it’s going to be OK—I believe it.

My grandmother is Dr. Ruth Westheimer. She created a sexual revolution that gave people the words and knowledge to talk freely and openly about sex. She had her own TV show for 10 years. Boy is she determined. She NEVER missed a taping. As a person wildly ahead of her time, she contributed to the American sex-positive culture. I can never learn enough about her positive impact in American society.

She is also, as she says, an orphan of the Holocaust. She does not believe in calling herself a Holocaust survivor because although every member of her family was sent to a death camp, she miraculously survived.

Didn’t think it could get crazier? She fought in the Israeli Independence War and was wounded on her 20th birthday.

My grandmother has seen a lot. You can tell from her face. Her wrinkles hold memories she was never able to experience because she became an orphan at age 10. Her brilliant blue eyes remind me that there is good in this world. Her little body, 88 and ½ years old, moves quickly. She is not slowing down anytime soon and neither are those of us who demand a government that respects women, people with disabilities, people of color, and immigrants.

As a long time Hillary supporter, and the daughter of Miriam Westheimer, who worked with Hillary to bring early childhood education to Arkansas, this week has been heartbreaking.

My grandma keeps calling me. She is worried about me. If only she knew how worried I am about her. Hasn’t she lived through enough?

She reminds me that we live in a big country. There are many people who are just as upset as I am and now, more than ever, we need to stand up for what is right.

When my grandmother tells me everything will be OK, I believe it. She has witnessed, done, and changed too much to be wrong.

And if it’s not OK—she reassured me that my uncle’s newly renovated house in Canada will fit us all.


Read More:

Coming to Terms with Medical Termination

‘Do You Have Any Kids Yet?’ is a Question I Hope to Stop Hearing Soon

My ‘Invisible Illness’ Makes Me Feel Different from Other Moms


Leora Einleger

Leora Einleger is a sophomore at Barnard College. She studies Political Science and is an Athena Women's Leadership Scholar.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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