Your Remembrances of RBG Are Powerfully Insightful. Here’s a Sample. Keep Them Coming.

A makeshift memorial for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg near the steps of the US Supreme CourtAlex Edelman/AFP/Getty

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As grieving continues and mobilizing begins in the wake of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death after a profound and pathbreaking life, so too does memorializing, and the sharing of her life’s lessons. Mother Jones readers are sending us glimpses of how you hear her legacy and where you find a recharge in her memory. Below is a selection. Keep your messages coming, in the form embedded in this week’s column by MoJo’s Monika Bauerlein, or by emailing us at recharge@motherjones.com.

These especially ring true for many of us (and we also heard from those who wished she’d retired under President Obama, but that’s for another post):

I was born in 1949 and RBG changed my life. Before she helped change the laws dealing with women’s rights, I couldn’t get a credit card in my name. In the want ads, jobs for men were listed separately from jobs for women & I wasn’t allowed to apply for any job listed for men. The laws were crazy & discriminated against women in many ways. Ruth changed that & I will be eternally grateful.
—A reader who wishes to remain anonymous

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is all that I ever hoped to be. A strong, intelligent woman who fought the good fight. Who protected the rights of the people who could not protect themselves. She shaped the lives of generations of women. She showed them that they could have control of their lives, their bodies, their family size, their futures. She gave generations of women (and men) hope. And self-determination. She did not allow old white men to control her or us. We cannot let her legacy die. We must fight on in her memory. I own my body. As does every Woman. And man. And I will not ever accept the chains that others wish to reapply. I, for one, will always love RBG and the justice she stood for. And the freedoms she fought for.
—Roma Johnson-Egea
Westerville, Ohio

RBG was such a tower of strength, civility, and compassion in this seriously messed-up country. At least RBG was there to steady the judiciary. It comforts me to hold the memory of her courage and grace.
—Margo Pearce
Boston, Massachusetts

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has inspired generations and made life fairer for all. Tzadik exemplifies her. I know that her reasoning has had an incredible impact the world over and that her dissents will pave the way for progress, as they already have in the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Ruth Bader Ginsburg lived with courage, dignity, humility, and love. There could be no better example of a life well-lived in the service of others.
—Linda
Hyattsville, Maryland

Strength, fortitude, intelligence, calm, wisdom. Bonus: She’s from Brooklyn.
—Gregory
Brooklyn, New York

Thinking of RBG reminds me of “When Great Trees Fall” by Maya Angelou.
—Dee
Concord, California

At Dee’s suggestion, Maya Angelou’s “When Great Trees Fall”:

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance, fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance of
dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

Send us your RBG recharges here or by emailing recharge@motherjones.com. And if you’re looking for a continuing boost, our Recharge blog awaits.

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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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