November 3, 2020. My heart is feeling the anxiety of today. My muscles are aching- a sure sign I’m stressed. Today is election day in the USA.
I’ve always voted. Since I was 18, I knew it was my right and my voice. I did my civil duty and I went to the polls. I made sure I was registered each time I moved. I showed up. And, I could have told you how important it was to vote. I could have explained it. But I dare say, I never understood.
Not until now. I’m 36 and I finally get it. I’m a little embarrassed to say that, but I just don’t think I’d had the life experiences necessary to fully comprehend the power of my vote- the power of the president- the power of the supreme court- the power of the senate- the power of the house- the power of the people.
In the last four years a lot has happened in my life and around me…
I’ve seen hatred spewed by our leader. I’ve felt embarrassed to be a part of a country that VOTED such a man in office. I’ve seen him talk about women as trash and treat us as such as well. “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” That’s one of many quotes that has come out of the foul-mouth of this president.
I’ve seen hatred spewed by our leader. Yes I know I wrote that already. A common theme here. This time towards blacks and all people of color- calling them rapists and causing more violence towards them. And again I’ve felt embarrassed to be a part of a country that voted this man into office. There are all sorts of groups that now feel free to publicize their racism and even act on it. It’s disgusting.
I’ve seen our leader undercut science- stifle research and even take scientific information off of websites and out of the hands of the people of this country. I’ve seen lies and so many things. And here’s the thing… I’m not political. I don’t watch. So, I honestly don’t know the half of it.
In my personal life I’ve seen and held death in my arms. For the first time being so close.
You all know my story… but if you don’t here’s the synopsis (you can read the full story here). A little over 3 years ago now, our unborn daughter, April Rey, was diagnosed with full trisomy 13- a fatal condition. My husband and I weighed our options, and ultimately chose to spare our daughter a short life of pain. We induced the pregnancy early and held her in our arms to say our first hellos and final goodbyes.
In the eyes of the law, this choice was classified as an abortion.
When Ruth Bader Ginsburg died just over a month ago, I found myself in tears. Again, I’ll admit I didn’t follow politics. I knew her name. I knew who she was, but I didn’t know her whole story. I didn’t know how damn much she did for women until recently. I wish I would have paid more attention earlier on and celebrated her life when she was alive.
And I found myself a puddle of tears as I realized the impact her death could have. And I cried again and found myself watching the supreme court nomination hearings as they rushed to replace our legend in the final moments of this election. Republicans rushed to make sure they could take women’s rights away. And I felt scared. So scared.
Our story with April Rey could have been much different. And it’s now quite possible with the new supreme court justice that women won’t have the choices that I had. It’s quite possible now that women’s rights could get set back so far. And I cried so hard knowing that that choice could get taken away. Our moments honoring our daughter could have been stripped from us. She could have suffered in pain if my choice had been taken away and I was forced to carry to term.
Leading up to election day, our oldest daughter, Caroline, is in kindergarten. She’s read about the election, and she’s read about RBG. She’s expressed interest in the election. Perhaps it’s solely to stay up late LOL Who knows…
But today, she’s staying up late. I hope to show her not just that it’s important to vote and know what is going on, but I hope to really teach her and open her eyes as she grows up. I hope to really instill in her the impact that politics can have on our lives.
Today I’m terrified that this president might get reelected. I’m baffled that he was elected to begin with, and I’m even more baffled seeing women and people of color supporting this man. Heck, I’m baffled that any man that loves a women can support having this man as our leader. It’s shocking to me, honestly.
I’m terrified of what might happen. I had a dream last night that he didn’t get reelected, and that chaos broke out. People tried to kill Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in this dream. People stormed cities and riots ensued. It was such a scary dream. But that’s the state of our nation right now. Cars trying to drive a presidential nominee off of the highway in REAL LIFE. These are the people that are supporting our current president, and it seems they will do anything, literally anything to make that happen.
Today I hope that there is peace.
I hope that there is a new president when this is all said and done- however many days it takes to figure that out. But I honestly hope it’s a landslide and we find out immediately.
Today I hope that my daughter sees good happen in our country.
I hope that she sees kindness win.
I hope that April Rey is helping to make good change happen with her story and her legacy.
Today we will watch, knowing that we did our part. We voted. We’ve shared April’s story. We’ve shared the real life impact politics can have.
Today I’ll probably share many more of my fears with my daughter. But I will also share my hopes for the direction of this country and for her generation.
Today we will make snacks. We will play games. We will enjoy a day without school. We will follow the election and color a results map to follow along. We will play election BINGO. We will enjoy our family.
Today though, this Mama feels stressed, and really feels the weight of this election. This election is personal. And the reality is that EVERY election should be this personal for all of us.
If you are a man, and you have a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister… unless you think it’s ok for a man to “Grab them by the pussy,” please vote for the honorable person that would never say or do such a thing. Because if you vote for the man that openly says that in public, as the leader of our country, well you’re telling the women in your life that it’s ok for them to be treated that way. And you are a part of the problem.
If you haven’t voted yet, get out there and vote. Vote for the women in your life. Vote for your black friends. Vote for our children’s future. Vote for science. Vote for KINDNESS and LOVE and PEACE. Vote for integrity.
Vote for a person that you can be proud to say is the leader of our country. And if it means voting for a different party than you normally do- please, please do that.