Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Claudia Gilmore

This One's For the Girls

Facing a double mastectomy at age 23

June 11, 2010 It’s been nearly three years since I heard the eulogy, the hymns, and the loving testimony my father gave at my grandmother’s funeral. The first female Baptist minister in Dallas, her love knew no boundaries or obstacles. She simply followed God’s calling—registering the homeless to vote, working tirelessly to defeat George Bush—and she upset a lot of people at the time. Eventually she had to join the Methodist faith in order to preach from the pulpit. And while her sermons were always moving, it was the way she lived her life and loved indiscriminately that changed so many lives, including my own. It’s because of my grandmother that I have decided, at age 23, to undergo a preventative double mastectomy with reconstruction.

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