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As I am sure you noticed… Today’s newsletter is shorter than most! Just trying to wring out all of the remaining hours out of 2021.
Apparently Betty White has passed away, just a few weeks shy of her 100th Birthday. Obviously, she was a once-in-a-generation talent and a trailblazer and she will be missed. I’m biased, but her role in Hot in Cleveland was just perfect. She never took her foot off the pedal.
As I was putting together links for the newsletter today, I wanted to tell you about a far lesser known female trailblazer by the name of Mary Bruemmer, somebody who worked at my alma mater for many decades. She turned 101 in 2021 and her story was always inspiring to me. They called her Extraordinary Mary. She changed Saint Louis University for the better and impacted thousands of young peoples’ lives.
For her part, Bruemmer doesn't see what she's done as extraordinary but rather as an act of love.
She referred to the writing of Former Jesuit Superior General Pedro Arrupe, S.J., to explain: "Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. ... Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything."
RIP. The world was brighter because of the Betty Whites and Mary Bruemmers, but time comes for us all and their memory and achievements are blessings we should remember for the rest of our days.
Matt Labash’s New Year’s Reflection. Worth your time before the ball drops.
For me, January 1 is always a disquieting marker, since, as T.S. Eliot wrote, "Last year's words belong to last year's language, and next year's words await another voice." It somehow feels as though you leave the old life that went before that date behind, and you must start over and reconnect with it for it to count as part of your present. So the simplest things—the first call to family members, the first story written, the first fish caught—take on pressing significance.
The Marine Corps Is Rapidly Forcing Out Vaccine Refusers… Good.
Lastly, good luck to the University of Cincinnati Bearcats.
That’s it for me. See you back here in 2022. Tech support questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.