Missing Molly Ivins

I've received a strange number of emails over the past 48 hours about deaths, none of them people I knew directly, but affecting people I know. So my heart was prepped for being heavy when I read the news that Molly Ivins has passed away. There's so much I admired about Ivins, as a woman, a wit, a writer. For wearing the label of "liberal" proudly. For being a terrific smart ass and a thoughtful, fearless, outspoken critic of Bush and a zillion other right wing knuckleheads.

I remember when I first discovered her, my freshman year in college. I was writing a paper for my Law & the Media class. I had to defend flag-burning and I came across a great quote by Ivins. She pointed out that George Bush had recently had a birthday cake decorated like the US flag. "Think about where that flag ended up," she wrote. "Now that's desecration."

Until I encountered Ivins, I had no idea that in this world a woman could be fearless, ballsy, fiercely intelligent, unapologetically and unwaveringly left-wing and successful. What a role model to have when you're trying to find your way in the world.

I'm not sure the world can afford to be short one such brave and, often, hilarious voice. I'm feeling gravity's pull a little stronger tonight.