Friday, November 11, 2016

and my heart broke

My daughter wept and my heart broke.

            It was the Wednesday morning. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen her cry; nor was it the first time I was blessed with having to comfort her. She was wrapped up in my arms, her face buried in my chest and her arms were wrapped tightly around me. My arms were wrapped around her shoulders and one of my hands was gently stroking her hair. I tried to whisper calming words into her ear. She made no acknowledgment of my words, instead she just kept mumbling the word “why” repeatedly.
            After a few minutes, she regained some composure and pulled away. Once again she asked “Why”?
            I looked at her and responded “Goose, a person’s vote is their vote. Just like their religion. What you believe in is strictly up to you. How you vote, why you vote and who you vote for is strictly a personal choice. A choice that no one has the right to discredit you for or debase you for. I’m sure there are plenty of reasons why people voted the way they did and it is their right to do so. You, me or for that matter, have no say in who or what they vote for.”
            “No buts Goose. Like it or not, we have to live what has been decided. You may not like it, I may not like it and many others may not like it but it is something that we have to live with.”
            “I think we should leave.”
            “Moving to another country will only create more problems in the future. What we have to do now is live with the situation and try to come out better in the end. Fleeing from a problem, real or perceived does not solve the problem.”
            “But… how could they?”
            “I can’t answer that. I don’t need to answer that. No one can. We just have to keep moving forward. America has survived forty-four presidents and it will survive a forty-fifth. No matter how good or bad that president may be.”
            “Did you vote for him?”
            “You know I didn’t.”
            “Did you vote for her?”
            “You know I didn’t.”
            “No buts, I voted for a third party candidate. Like I said I would. I voted my conscious. I didn’t base it on anything but the simple fact that I wanted a better world for you. For you to have more options in the future. I’ve more days behind me than I do ahead of me. And, maybe, just maybe, when you go to the polls for your first Presidential election in four years, you will have more choices, or maybe your children will. That is why I voted the way I did. Plain and simple. I’m looking for our country to grow, change and become better, I don’t believe that either of the two primary candidates could do that. So I voted for the strongest third candidate.”
            “I just don’t understand how America could do this.”
            “America didn’t do this, the people did. America is more than just people. America is an idea, and no matter how skewed some of the people are in America, America will always find a way to survive. So you need to stop asking why people voted the way they did and know that America will be just fine.”
            “I hope so.”
            “It will be.”
            “Have you ever been upset about an election?”
            “Can’t rightly recall. The last vote for President I cast and that President won was Ronald Reagan. I have a terrible voting record. Most of the people I vote for never win. They just fall off into obscurity.”
            “Doesn’t that hurt you?”
            “It hurts me.”
            “The pain will lessen. You’ll be okay. Besides, when you are older and people ask you if you ever voted for the Great Pumpkin, you can honestly say no.”
            She laughed. Not heartily, not enthusiastically, it was just a small chuckle really. The worry, anger and disappointment vanished from her face for just a moment. Then she looked me in the eyes and broke down again.
            I reached out to her, pulled her into my already tear stained shirt and tried to comfort her again.

            My daughter wept and my heart broke.

No comments:

Post a Comment