Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Today I am grateful for the return of dignity. While I am thrilled with the new changes in our government, I am also very, very sad. But not just sad because of the horrible insurrection, or the unnecessary loss of human life to Covid-19, or the fact that Washington DC looks like a war zone. I’m sad because I have lost so many people who wanted to see this day, but didn’t live long enough.
In watching the news on the inauguration of responsible grown-ups, there is a lot of talk about the lack of a crowd. The blatant insurrection by followers of the past lunatic is, of course, one reason. Security can barely deal with the safety of the dignitaries involved, not to mention a “crowd”. But Biden and Harris also encouraged people to stay home for their own safety from Covid.
Imagine that? Sacrificing the adulation of thousands in order to keep people healthy and safe. At this point that alone gives me hope. The flags lining the grounds are representative of the people who would usually be attending. And they are representative of you and me, the citizens of the United States.
But today I’m not thinking about you, or me. I’m thinking about the friends I have lost in the last four years. Some of them despised 45, some were on the fence, some supported him, at least at first. But I’m certain, that after the events of the last two weeks, all would be glad he’s gone.
But I’ll never know for sure because they aren’t here to tell me. My heart is going out to those we’ve lost. . .from those innocent black people shot down or choked in the streets, or their homes; to the dignitaries who had marched with Martin Luther King Jr.; to the elected government officials, including in our courts, who prayed for change but didn’t live to see it happen. Then there are the 400,000 victims of Covid, many of whom wouldn’t have died. Horrible and unnecessary waste of human life.
But as I watch historic events unfold, I’m mostly thinking of my lost friends. I fear I might leave someone out, but if I do, please add them to my list. Also feel free to add your own as well. I honor them. . .
Beth, who in early days, would call or text me every single time 45 did something stupid. We communicated a lot.
Jude, who followed and commented on every single one of my blog stories and messaged me often, when she wasn’t comfortable sending her strong opinions into the world.
Roberta, my friend from a billion years ago, who always thought I was so special, never realizing that it wasn’t me, it was her who was special! She didn’t like to get into public politics, either, but boy, those private messages burned and always ended with hope.
Gordon, the quadriplegic brother of a friend I lost years ago to Alzheimer’s. Though faced with enormous daily obstacles, he always found something to be grateful for. Every single day.
Stephani, my little peanut friend from water aerobics, who probably voted for 45, because she had hope, but I’m sure would have kicked him to the curb a long time ago, because she was too smart to not see him for what he was. I miss her sass every single day.
Bernie, a friend from my theater days forty years ago, who died of Covid not long ago. We hadn’t been in touch too much in these last years, but it wasn’t necessary to know what his feelings would be on this historic day.
Sylvia, my dear, dear friend and the very first person who was kind to me when we moved to Pennsylvania 35 years ago. When something horrific happened in the news, she called me to discuss. We discussed a lot until her confusion intercepted and made it difficult. I wish she was here today so we could talk.
Jim, who I leave for last, because while I think of him every day, today is when I need his gentle spirit and kind comments to fill my soul. Even though he could rant, he always concluded with kindness and a peaceful, even countenance. A proud navy veteran, I have wanted to talk with him every day for the last month. How horrified he would have been at the insurrection and breech of the Capital building. And how proud he would be today. And calm.
While I am sad, happy, ecstatic, terrified and grateful for change, I remember my friends, now gone, who would have loved witnessing today. I witness it for them. We are long overdue for a return to dignity.