My Girl Joan

I like a lot of things about you. You were a fighter, like I have always been. You stood side by side with men but did not let it turn you into one of them. You did not grow needy of them nor did you lose your heart to any of them. You were a true leader, and a truer friend. You knew the power of tough words delivered like the blows of a hammer. You never lost yourself, not your personhood nor your femininity. Even in armour and pants you were all woman,  in compassionate vulnerability; in gracious administration. You led with as much ferocity as class. You fought with as much piety as holy wrath. And you died in as much tragedy as triumph. Joan, dear little Jeanette. You have rocked the world with your uneducated genius. You have shocked the faith with your uncompromising decisiveness. You have paved the way for a holistic spirituality that engages culture, politics, injustice, patriarchal egoism, and the religious hypocrasy of any age. Because of you we realize that victory comes in many shades, even sometimes red.

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