I am grieving today. This week has brought a firestorm of events that are devastating for an elder with daughters and grandchildren.
The January 6 hearings have been riveting, dignified, terrifying and clarifying. If we don’t clear out all the dirt that has been hidden under the carpet, we’re doomed to live in a dirty house.
The facts are clear, but their implications are not. Can the conclusions of the January 6th committee result in a turning of minds and hearts? Not on the far right. But perhaps within some of the majority.
The dual events around the gun control issue illustrate our polarized state. To finally pass a bipartisan bill that at least takes a step towards safety and sanity, only to have the Supreme Court decide against NY’s stand on gun safety is a tragic dichotomy. The consequences may be more and more violence, more and more deaths.
Today the third blow was dealt. My two daughters and I texted through our tears when we found out that the Supreme Court has actually done it. Roe v. Wade overturned. The effects of this will be tragic, mostly for those without the means to travel or to feed a bigger family or escape the cycle of poverty.
The worst part of these tragic events is that we know they do not represent the majority views in this country. Decisions are being made that are consequences of one election and carried out by officials born of The Big Lie.
I will turn 80 next year, and so I look back at the decade I spent with Planned Parenthood, making hard decisions on a board with thoughtful, bright people willing to take a stand. I really thought we had made progress, and so I can only apologize to my children and grandchildren for the world our generation is leaving them.
Somehow I will vow to listen to the statement Michelle Obama put out today, expressing her heartbreak and encouraging us not to give up.
I’m sure these events will only encourage those whose minds we cannot change. But if you are in the middle, discouraged like me, and considering not voting or giving up on politics, please take a breath. Think of how all these events are the result of one election. Elections are important.
A democracy is supposed to be about the people deciding. And the way we raise our voices is to vote. So now is the time to dig in, to muster our courage and our power to influence. We are all here for good reasons and we must be heard.
As a grandmother, I think of that chilling message asking our generation to consider what we’ll say when one of our descendants asks, “What did you do during that time?” Or when we are gone, they might ask our children, “What did our grandmother (or great-grandmother) do during that terrible time?”
This is the moment to come up with a better answer.