The Courage of Judy Blume

28 Nov

If you were a girl growing up in the 70’s, you know Judy Blume.  Or at least feel like you do.  Because when you read her books, it was like she was there with you.  In books like Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret  and Deenie she wrote about real life.  Things that you thought about and dealt with but no one talked about.  Of course, in our current world, we voraciously consume reality television and everything is discussed openly 24/7 on this miracle we call the internet.

It’s easy to forget that back in the day, writing about real life often got your book banned or burned.  Judy Blume wrote about it anyway.  She says on her website that she didn’t realize at first what she wrote could be considered controversial, she just wanted to write the most honest books she could.  When her work was indeed censored, did that stop her? No, she wrote more.  She was courageous and it made a difference in many of our lives.  She shone a light for us along that rocky path called childhood and then puberty.

This is not Judy Blume. Or me. But it is what puberty feels like. And probably breast cancer too.

And she didn’t stop there. Even if you’ve never heard of Judy Blume (which is inconceivable), she has been your champion.  In the face of censorship, she stood up for not only her rights, but your rights, my rights and the rights of millions of young readers.  She became very active in the anti-censorship movement.  Once again, her courage was a beacon.  You can read more about her activism here.

And now, Judy is shining a light on another rocky path that many of us will go down in our lifetimes. She announced on her blog in September that she has breast cancer.  This hit home for me because a good friend of mine recently was diagnosed with breast cancer and several other women I know in my community have been diagnosed just in the past few months.  It seems as though it’s blooming everywhere like an evil crabgrass.   It has begun to feel as inevitable as puberty was.  As always, Judy does not shy away from the topic, and in her blog she wrote honestly and openly of her diagnosis and treatment.

My friend is working through her chemo and doing very well, enjoying the good times and plowing ahead ahead in the bad.  I know she will be well again soon.  I wish the same for Judy Blume.  We need her and her courage as much now as we ever did.

3 Responses to “The Courage of Judy Blume”

  1. insahmity November 28, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    I like your breast cancer – evil crabgrass analogy. Good!

    • pursuingthemuse November 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

      Thanks, insahmity. Good luck on your climb. 🙂 I’m cheering for you.

  2. (@gwenchoate) November 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    So am I! Keep moving up.

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