Wow what a crazy day. I began worrying about doctors visits and visiting the orthopedics, and in the middle of what was a pretty crazy, physically painful day, I discovered that Princess Leia/ Carrie Fisher had died. This has already been a tough year for losses in both the music and acting industries, but the loss of Leia caused me to pause, and to reflect about the significance of loss, and the importance of hope. Princess Leia was probably one of my first onscreen crushes. She was strong, and stubborn and take chargey, and that seemed so attractive to me. Wow, a woman who was both deeply strong, feminine, and intimately sexy all at the same time…I was in love! Of course I was only 10, and had not crushed on many women, except Wonder Woman/ Linda Carter who also portrayed a strong, sexy woman. Leia in many ways represented the voice of Star Wars and the hope it exemplified. For me, her character embodied those of us in the US, or in Christianity, or in any group, who stood up against bullies and victimizers, and who challenged those who used people and manipulated the universe for their own agenda. I gained hope that the causes I stood up for, the people I confronted because they hated others, and the systems that bullied their employees, were ultimately worth it, and we could win because, well, Leia won, and that endeared hope in me. I mean seriously, anyone who could stand toe to toe with Vader was special. I once had an administrator, in a previous school, call me out for wearing shoes he didn’t like. He had great power and influence over me, and could have fired me. He told me I needed to wear better shoes to graduation, and I retorted that he needed to pay me more money! I stood up to a bully-in my mind-who like Vader would scare people to get their way. Leia was successful, and shockingly, I wound up choosing to leave that employer and this leader was fired almost 8 months after he confronted me. So today, I grieve! There’s a small piece of my hope that Leia took with her, but she created so much hope in my life, that I am forever grateful to her. May the Force Be With You Today! I love ya and I’m praying for ya!