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Monday, March 2, 2015

In Memory of Leonard Nimoy

This post really has nothing to do with sustainable living, unless it is to point out the incomparable value of a life lived right.  But, today I'm exercising my blogger's right to write about what moves me, even if it doesn't always fit with my stated purpose of the blog.

When Leonard Nimoy passed away last week, I had a good cry.  I'm not really one to do that.  I don't cry a lot as a rule, and I generally never cry at movies or TV shows or for actors.  The only movie to ever make me cry was, in fact, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.  I cry every time Spock dies in that one.  Make of that what you will.

Leonard Nimoy was a part of my life since childhood.  Although I was too young to see the original Star Trek in it's first airings, I saw every movie in the theater with my Dad.  It was there I learned to understand just how powerful this Vulcan character is.  Spock was a man who, far from being emotionless, had such powerful emotions that he had to control them via Vulcan mind disciplines.  But when he let them out, he loved powerfully, fought powerfully, and forged bonds with his friends that lasted a lifetime.  I could understand that.  And so I loved Spock for it.

If Leonard Nimoy had only given life to Spock, I would have mourned his passing.  But it was one of his actions on social media that really solidified my affection for this man I never met.

Nimoy was an active participant on Twitter, and his tweets were always worth reading.  And in what would turn out to be his final years, he reached out to his followers in a very loving sort of way.

He issued a blanket invitation that everyone who would like to consider themselves an honorary grandson or granddaughter was welcome to join his family, just by tweeting back to him or otherwise agreeing.  He later expanded this to allow for honorary brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, and other relationships that encompassed a greater range of age and emotional connection.

I'm just barely young enough to be Nimoy's granddaughter; I probably should have opted to be his honorary niece to be more intellectually honest about it.  But as someone who lost three grandparents by the age of eight, I still hunger for that grandparent relationship that I lost so early on.  It meant a great deal to me to count one of my science fiction heroes as an honorary grandfather, a fact that I tweeted to him when I accepted his offer.  I hope he saw that, and I hope it gave him a momentary warm feeling.

Here was a man who was reaching out to people who he didn't and would never know offering to consider them family.  If there was ever a gesture that demonstrated the best in human nature, this was it.  It transcends divisions and recognizes the unity of humanity.  As Spock himself might have said, it was the best of "infinite diversity in infinite combination."

So, today I wish my honorary grandfather Godspeed in the next adventure.  "I have been - and always shall be - your friend."

Live long and prosper, dear readers.
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