I don't talk politics here. But...today is feels different. It feels necessary.
Last night was brutal. We tucked the kids in, and Brad and I snuggled up to watch the results full of hope. And then the night wore on...
I felt the same pit in my stomach that I have felt only a few times before.
I vividly remember sitting on Gramps's lap watching the tanks stand still on the Kuwait border, watching the clock literally tick towards war. I was little and unsure of what this all meant. I could feel him willing movement. I also saw Gram making applesauce in the kitchen and doing laundry. When I asked her how she could do that while we were waiting to see what happened she simply said, "You will still want lunch and Gramps can't sleep without his pajamas." Life went on.
I remember watching the Towers fall in 2001. I remember my advisor being the first real adult I talked to, and I asked if we were going to be okay. She said she didn't know. I wasn't little any more and there was no protection from this new reality. I also remember my mom driving to Toledo that night for a Girl Scout meeting because the girls would need that community more then than ever. Fear wouldn't win. Life went on.
That feeling was back last night, but for the first time I was the one with little ones I would need to answer to this morning. I couldn't rehearse the conversation. I had no words.
While I was desperately trying to sleep, I heard Maya Angelou's voice: "And still I rise."
I'm holding tight to those words today. For myself. For my children. For my country.
This morning, the kids asked as soon as their eyes were open who our president will be. Evan was pragmatic. Issa cried. Then we got dressed, ate breakfast, and went to school where we picked our ornaments off the angel tree. Still we rise. This doesn't define us or our day. We will not succumb to fear or despair. We practice what we preach. We hug those who need one. We find a way to be the light. We face uncertainly with dogged resilience.
I know good people whom I love dearly who have voted both ways in this election. I know good people who are breathing a sigh of relief this morning and those that are truly grappling with grief and fear. But we can't stay here.
The world is watching. More importantly, our children are watching. I believe in us. Not a system. Not a single leader. I believe in the good of us as a nation. I believe that we will rise. I believe it's not wise for us to wait for anyone else to start the healing. We have to do that. We have to start with those closest to us. We have to rise above the noise and listen. We have to rise above the vitriol and start forging a path forward. We do. If we preach love trumps hate, we have to live it--for everyone.
And so...I rise. I refuse hate. I refuse defeatism. I refuse to believe that one night is a destiny for our nation. It's always darkest before the dawn. Let's be the sunrise....