July 29, 2021

Dear Bridgette

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This archived article was written by: Nathaniel Woodward

Dear Bridgette, you live in a fascinating world full of equally fascinating changes. Daunting and improbable tasks make a habit of entering your life, causing the twists and turns of your personal adventure.
Change is what you make of it, you can make change for the better or worse, which is what will shape who you are, and after all, your reactions may simply be a matter of perspective. Never approach an obstacle feeling that you are alone because you stand on the shoulders of giants, all those who came before whose work we build upon will support your efforts and provide a respite from the rigors of discovery.
You have an opportunity to soar far above the innovation of the past and create new and exciting things, to lay the foundation for those who will one day stand on your shoulders.
Over the next several weeks, I will write about the giants who came before us, whose work has withstood the tests of time and lifted humankind from the quagmire of intellectual stagnation which we have been mired down in for hundreds of thousands of years.
You will learn of great explorers who gave their lives for the cause of science, the way your father wishes to and wishes for you too. Their voices echo across the centuries, calling out “Discover. Search. Be fearless. Explore.”
Some of those giants include: Rosalind Franklin, Henrietta Swan Levitt, Cecilia Payne, Marie Tharp and Margaret Hamilton, among others. In that list are incredible women innovators and explorers who shook off the oppressive shackles of their times and changed the world, but I don’t wish you to be classified only with them.
You live in a time when people move beyond antiquated gender roles and view humankind’s accomplishments as they should be, by great scientists. And they will be remembered as such.
Innovation will not happen on its own, it requires hard work and a proper perspective. The same glow I get in my eyes when I’m engaged in discovery, I see in you. You’ve been told of my passions and why I do what I do. I even wrote about you and your brother in an earlier article detailing my fascination with your creation and our eventual destiny among the stars.
Your world is changing, and though the new challenges your time presents may seem unprecedented, remember this line from a true masterpiece, “Winds in the east, mist coming in, like something is brewing, about to begin. Can’t put my finger on what lies in store, but I feel what’s to happen all happened before.”
The time will come when the matter that made my body will join your brother amongst the stars, then it will be your turn to search for us.
It is my sincerest desire that one day it may be said of you: She pulled back the shroud of the stars and peered into the eternities, gazed undaunted into the void and in the end she too was unafraid of the dark. When the time comes, search for me Bridgette, I’ll be waiting.
-Dad

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