a sad day

I'm saddened today to learn of the death of a long-time activist friend, MB. MB was a life-long union organizer, a long-term member of the board of Planned Parenthood, and worked harder in his 'retirement' than most people do in their regular jobs as an organizer of senior citizens. He led groups of seniors on trips to Canada to buy medications, and tirelessly fought for the right of all people to have access to health care. 

A few years ago, when he was in his 70s, he and I spoke at a rally about Medicare funding. We were both going to a meeting afterwards, and as we walked there together, he spotted an elderly woman trying to cross the street. Cars were not stopping to let her cross, and she clearly did not feel comfortable walking into the street until it was empty. He asked her if she needed help, and we escorted her across the street and deposited her on the opposite corner. We went on our way to the meeting, but I was struck by his overwhelming attention to those in need–even if the need was just an arm to hold crossing the street.

I don't know many people who can keep that sharp focus on individuals while maintaining a larger vision of fighting for justice. The fact that he was able to do it for over 60 years astonishes and inspires me. I don't know if he's gone to a better place. I do know that the one he left us was made a little worse by his loss.

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June 19, 2006. random other things. 9 comments.