JUDGED SUPREME

JUDGED SUPREME

By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latina justice and third woman justice to serve on the Supreme Court.
Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor intrigues and inspires me.
On a recent trip to the library I picked up a small biography of hers and now I'm being consumed by it.
Serving in one of the most influential and coveted spheres in the nation, she's had to work hard to overcome countless obstacles on her journey to success.
A look at her early life is provoking:
+Sonia Sotomayor grew up in the housing projects of the Bronx. Her environment teemed with difficulty, hardship, and extremes of every kind but also fostered traits of resilience, experiential wisdom, and determination in her.
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+In childhood Sonia struggled with bed-wetting, blurry vision, thirst, and fainting. At age eight she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes with the earlier issues attending the diagnosis. In the 60's the prognosis was much more daunting and much less understood than it is today. She was given a disconcerting outlook that included difficult and life-long implications. Indeed, her mother mourned over the diagnosis and perceived it to be nothing short of an early death sentence.
Sonia's dad was an alcoholic and her mom was a work-alcoholic.
With no one to lean on for help, Sonia learned to boil and sterilize her own needles, and injected herself 4 to 5 times daily.
Sonia grew independent, intelligent, and brave.
"Realistic as well as optimistic, Sonia considered her lot in life and how she could react to her disease as either a daily awareness or a limitation. She often considered herself better off than her cousin Elaine, who was born with a paralyzed arm. Elaine's mother hovered too much, limiting Elaine's potential and capabilities. As a result, she always stayed at the edge of the playground, never able to set foot inside, always watching children play and run in the sand through the swings.
Sonia didn't want to live that way."
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+Sonia loved learning and reading.
She thoroughly enjoyed the Nancy Drew mysteries and engaged herself beside Nancy in problem solving and detective work.
"I was convinced I would make an excellent detective, as a keen observer and listener. I picked up on clues, figured things out logically and enjoyed puzzles. I loved the clear, focused feeling that came when I concentrated on solving a problem and everything else faded out. And I could be brave when I needed to be."
She also loved Perry Mason and watched him every Thursday night.
The career of "lawyering" took root in her as a result. She liked the idea of being an active participant in providing justice to others and was especially taken by the fictitious Los Angeles District Attorney Hamilton Burger.
Sonia Sotomayor liked to dream.
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Hmmm ...
Such curious early facts attend Sonia's upbringing; brimming with difficulties and possibilities all mingled and mixed until they can't be divided.
Her early story is deliciously and appealingly inspiring; she went from a dreamer to a doer ... and she achieved.
Where she is today is because of where she was yesterday and a thousand details in-between attending. It's all such a wonder and so provoking.
In the meantime, It feels good to travel beside brave and courageous souls, and a Supreme Court Justice named Sonia Sotomayor.
A hungry mind, a beautiful woman, and an inspiring friend.
Judged supreme.
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"It really takes growing up to treasure the specialness of being different."
Sonia Sotomayor