An Intrinsic Writer

Yesterday was the twelfth anniversary of my mom’s passing. I’m proud of her vibrant legacy. She was an intrinsic writer infused with high-energy living.

Officially a traditional homemaker until she was fifty. Mom was basically a community advocate and organizer whose commitment arose out of following that radical1 Jesus. She entered Stanford at age sixteen, majored in Chemistry, and graduated as Valedictorian of her class. In those days of either-or choices for women, she chose family instead of a career. Once her four children all left the nest, she became an inner-city high school teacher for nine years, before her health demanded she quit her 24-hour way of teaching the youth by day and then visiting their homes.

Mom was always a writer. At an early age, she jotted down details about the Sierra wildflowers, organizing them by color as she hiked her beloved Yosemite. Much later, she helped me identify forty kinds of trees for my Girl Scout badge while we went on a short walk on our way out of that same National Park. Later yet, she took repeated “Life Story” community college classes to write down a stack of memories about family members and friends who helped shape the person she had become.

By nature a lover of God’s creation and by training a scientist, Mom was always a writer activist at heart. I am proud to honor her legacy and hope to continue it through my own humble efforts.

Your partner in gratitude,

Betsy Schwarzentraub

! = I use the word “radical” in its original meaning of “going back to the roots.” Jesus’ message is the most radical of all: living by love.