Your Lolo, my die-hard Republican father, called me this morning and said one sentence, "Obama is my president this morning." Oh, how we laughed.
Yesterday was a day that I will tell you about someday when your history text books water everything down and sensationalize the wrong parts of what has taken place these days.
Our first bi-racial President came into office yesterday! But everyone calls him our first African-American president. To me, my darling, he's a man who I see much promise and brings out the promise of others. That's why he got the vote, and first action as a campaign worker, out of me.
I debated as to whether or not I should stand in the cold in Washington, D.C. to be a part of history, or witness history, or however people are phrasing it. And, I decided, I will go and stand on the mall when I see the first womyn take the highest seat. I suppose it would have been worth it to see Obama sworn in, but I feel that I already experienced the best part of history in November, the election day that got us to the inauguration.
That day - election day - is one you'll hear me rave about this until infinity But it was a day I'll never forget and one that I'll never fail to describe. I was able to drive to local campaign office and be partnered up with another volunteer to go canvassing, door to door, and talk with voters to make sure they had exercised their precious right to be heard. Most already had, but what struck me was the feel of my knuckle on the wood, the rapping sound that I caused in a near empty neighborhood and looking into the eyes of a stranger with a smile to ask if Barack Obama could count on their unconditional support that day. Most said, "Of course!"
There were people of every age, a boy on his bike talking about his excitement, a high risk pregnancy woman describing her willingness/ability to still work the phones despite her condition, the fast paced speed at which the organizers spoke, and the long hours I spent with a stranger who turned out to be a physician at a nearby clinic. Her gentle black face and my young brown face smiled for hours as we walked miles and supported one another that day.
Now THAT, my dear, is called being a part of history. If ever you want to be a part of history, remember something: it takes more than just watching. It means sacrificing something along the way and watching your sacrifice unfold in something unpredictable. Being a part of history is a risk, an action. Don't ever just be a witness to history, be one of the holders of the pen that documents it. DO something to make history unfold. They'll always be enough witnesses. Always. Create history instead of witnessing it.
But, still, the majesty and ceremonies was wonderful and the crowds took my breath away on the mall. However, the crowd at Grant Park, the night Obama won, still holds the trophy for wondrous.
Veronica, your father cried yesterday when Obama took his oath and I sprung to my feet and screamed while I jumped up and down in front of our breaking down TV with the largest bunny ears imaginable. No cable choices, we stuck with mainstream NBC to usher us into a new era. I listened as Obama talked about the day you might have children and thought about how your father and I could barely imagine someday having a daughter or son like you to consider, but how the ache to meet you drums louder in our chests everyday.
There are a handful of great days that transpire in life, my love, and yesterday was one of them. Perhaps an even greater day will be the one where I give you a copy of this letter and tell you about this in person.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009