Central PA's LGBT News Source

Terry Drew Karanen’s Grandma Esther speaks

From the trailer park to the pulpit


Central Voice columnist Terry Drew Karanen’s recently published collection of sayings by his maternal grandmother Esther, born in 1909, show the wisdom that helped create a life and career in helping others.

From the Trailer Park to the Pulpit: Reflections on the wise and wacky sayings of Grandma Esther are lessons for the reader to assist in working through self-doubt, finding personal power, and communicating effectively with others, says Karanen. Over 20 photos are also included.

Karanen tells Central Voice the book “builds on the history of Grandma Esther, our family, and me. However, the order in which you choose to read the chapters should be inconsequential. If you find yourself drawn to a particular chapter, go with it. If something is historically unclear, know it was probably explained or elaborated on in an earlier section.”

When he uses the term “God”, Karanen means a power that he feels “is greater than me, but that I and all other humans are expressions of. God is the ocean; we and all else we see, and don’t see, are the drops of water,” he explains.

He believes in a “user friendly” and non-judgmental universal order that responds to us. Other terms for this might be, “Divine Love,” “Universal Consciousness,” “Goddess,” or anything else that might fit into your spirituality or religious upbringing.

“A power greater than us could mean science or a group of people that is held in esteem or revered,” Karanen says.

Gramda Esther must have been a greater power in the lives of many others. Her sayings will remind you of your own life experiences.