Created on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 Written by Jonathan D. Hawkins, Brother Emeryville, Calif.
In all fairness, it would be unwise of me to illustrate the "professional" character of my sister, Bridget D. Hawkins. That is, not without commenting on her character as a person. And, while I relish the opportunity to witness my sister work inside a courtroom, that day has not yet come.
After telling me of her nomination for judgeship, my foremost opinion is: "There is no stopping my sister from being and doing all that she is able ..."
A pivotal, decades old memory of Bridget is that of our mother designating her guardian pro tem for one casually mischievous, nine-year-old boy.
I don't remember why I wasn't in school that day. Bridget is working on her bachelor's degree in social welfare. The weather of early winter is skin-numbingly frigid. A one transfer metro transit bus ride from our home to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, while carrying weighty books, a sizable schedule of classes ... and me, may just have been Bridget setting a precursor to the steadfastness of many of today's single parents.
At the time, I didn't understand the enormity of her responsibilities. A 20 something college student, balancing school, a part-time job and being an on-call guardian is not an easy task. Nor is it, by most accounts, a desired duty. However, Bridget is the person, who handles such responsibilities well. During classes, she kept me entertained and/or distracted with a pen and paper, so that I could doodle or copy math equations written on one of the lecture hall blackboards. I tried to remain quiet and made efforts not to annoy her. She would even design pop quizzes to get me involved. She has a talent for connecting with people.
She fed me snacks of potato chips, a cinnamon roll and an apple. I think I inhaled a cheeseburger for lunch. I even remember us taking a moment (by Bridget's urging, of course) to watch a soap opera in the student union. That is her, caring for the "needy," while measuring out time for herself.
That day, I did learn just how intelligent ("My sister is so smart and lucky that she knows how to do math with numbers and letters ..."), principled ("She always knows where to go and what to do?"), and personable she is able to be around peers and professors. Throughout the day, she waved and happily chatted with people of varying age, gender and race. It all seemed so casual and normal for her to be handling such a consuming routine. Yet, she could still find the "fun" to enjoy her daily hustle.
Bridget instinctively knows how to temper discipline with devotion for those with whom she is charged. She has always spoken to me as a person with thoughts and feelings. Rarely, did she ever make me feel like a "little brother." Like all of my siblings, Bridget was instrumental in my upbringing and helped me to focus on pursuits that may have been outside my scope of consideration. Possibility is the word Bridget trumpets through her personal ethic and demeanor.
For Bridget, it is possible to foster children. It is possible to assist in raising a nephew to manhood. It is possible to care for an ailing mother. It is possible to be active in the community. And, it is possible to contribute in as many areas of life as possible.
Accepting the challenge. Designing a course of action that benefits the people involved. Maintaining a command of authority and guidance can be taught. However, the notable ones are usually cited with inherent ability. I believe the quality of my sister's character is inherited through her tireless pursuits, personal and professional experiences and pragmatic approach to life.
She is a person who gives of herself for the simple reason that, she believes, it is her job to give of herself and that when judged, she will be deemed, exceptional.
Jonathan D. Hawkins, Brother