(To FAMB and the rest of you who look for me at 9am each morning, I apologize. Healing takes much more energy than I imagined, and I don't want to write something that won't be worth your time. So, I will aim for a post every weekday, but I'm not going to hold myself to the timing. You'll know I'm getting better when I'm back on schedule. Til then, may I ask you to cut me some slack in the timeliness department? Thanks, from your perforated friend.)
*********************************************************I wonder..... did the AP call any of you and ask to sit on your couch and watch the speech together? Welcome to my weird and wonderful world.
I told the lovely woman on the other end of the phone that I was too tired by the end of the day to acquiesce to her most flattering invitation but that she could call back and ask me a question or two on the phone. She did. With the help of TBG and The Ballerina (who's come from Little Rock to tend to me) and some judicious repetition of questions aloud, I managed to put together a semi-coherent response. Was I ever glad that I had been taking notes as he spoke. Just Google Suzi Hileman and AP and you can see what I said... or whatever the interweb has deemed most click-worthy at any rate.
What did I think? First and foremost, didn't my girl look great next to Mrs. Obama? That's Roxanna, mother of Christina-Taylor, bereft parent and my really good friend who somehow managed to look graceful and stylish and classy in that beautiful suit, though I knew she was crying inside. I loved knowing people in the front row ..... I just don't like why they were there.
I don't like it at all.
I did like our president calling for a robust democracy where What do you think of that idea? and What do you want to be when you grow up? are real and vital questions for each and every American. C-T won't get to live up to her enormous potential, but President Obama was there encouraging the rest of us to do it for her. And for ourselves. And for America, the first nation to be founded on an idea.
When he and FLOTUS were in my hospital room, he answered my lack of understanding, my flummoxed, uncomfortable sense that there was so much violence in the world when we live in such a wonderful country by reminding me that this was not the act of America. He spoke of the good that is the American people and the good that I was doing by taking C-T to Congress on Your Corner and the good in the people who ran out of the Safeway and into harms way because their fellow Tucsonans were injured. He told me to concentrate on our better angels and I've been trying to do just that.
I loved that he touted the winners of science fairs and the creators of new technology and that he pointed us onward as we invest in the future. That is the way that I am able to move forward every day. I try to keep the door to the past firmly shut while aiming straight ahead, with purpose and a smile. Christina wasn't about gun control or the federal deficit or partisan political wrangling. She was about talking to someone in charge about her own issue. She expected to be heard and taken seriously and respected as an individual because she was a part of the American Family.
No, I am not angry that gun control didn't come up in the speech. No, I don't mind that he didn't make more of the Green's in the balcony. He was here in Tucson last week and he helped my town to bind its wounds. And, if you are wondering, we are doing just fine. We are not focusing on the Law'n Order facts, on the judicial hearings and the pleadings and the horror. We are concentrating on finding meaning and love and on growing closer to one another.
TBG saw it first and stepped out in front of the media which was looking to define the situation on a partisan, divisive, hurtful and hateful political basis. He turned the conversation around to the loss of a beautiful 9 year old child, a respected and hard working judge, a husband, a fiancee, and two other women-of-a-certain-age who were out on a Saturday morning, hoping to exercise their right to assembly and free speech. I've been lucky enough to follow in his (awfully big and deep) footsteps and I've been trying to do the same.
It's not easy. There are tears and strains and lots and lots of anger inside. But they are tears of loss and the strains of recuperating and regenerating muscles and the anger is not at He Who Should Be Slapped or his family or the system. It is at the unfairness of it all. It is at the loss of a future for a bride to be, the loss to the judicial system of a hardworking, faith-filled judge, of a husband who threw himself between his wife and a madman, of a quilter and a mother who were out on a sunny weekend morning to visit with their Congresswoman and take home a piece of history.
The history is defined a little awkwardly right now, and I'm not sure any of us has it in the place we need it to be. But I have you here in The Burrow to help me think it through, and I have all of Tucson rooting for something good to come out of this horror. I'm going to do my part. And I wonder, as did Mr. Obama last night, what you as citizens and parents are willing to do.
If you don't mind, why not take a few minutes and give it some thought. Feel free to let me know in the comments if you want to make a public commitment to something. I know that it helps me to stay focused if I say it aloud.
America is not going to get better unless we are all in it together again. Our President is asking us to join hands and take part. I'm throwing in my two cents, too........ let's do something..... Christina will never be able to fulfill her incredible potential..... it's on us now to do it for her.