A Free Spirited Wonderer

“She gave us a very broad understanding of the world,” her daughter said. “She hated bigotry. She was very determined to be remembered for a life of service and thought that service was really the true measure of a life.”

Above quote is about Barack Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro, who "felt that somehow, wandering through uncharted territory, we might stumble upon something that will, in an instant, seem to represent who we are at the core,” said Maya Soetoro-Ng, Mr. Obama’s half-sister. “That was very much her philosophy of life — to not be limited by fear or narrow definitions, to not build walls around ourselves and to do our best to find kinship and beauty in unexpected places.”

The more I read about this gracious woman who died in 1995 from cancer, the more aura of this kind hearted human being becomes clearer, who was a "free spirited wonderer", who "married an African student at age 18. Then she married an Indonesian, moved to Jakarta, became an anthropologist, wrote an 800-page dissertation on peasant blacksmithing in Java, worked for the Ford Foundation, championed women’s work and helped bring microcredit to the world’s poor."

Janny Scott's article "A Free Spirited Wonderer Who Set Obama's Path" in The New York Times is a good read.