Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

I’ve revealed to all of you before that I am a weeping willow. Sad, worried, injured, angry or full of hope, joy and pride...all are expressed by me through water works. I can’t help it, I’ve inherited that from my mother. It’s genetic, people.

Watching the continuing news coverage regarding today’s presidential inauguration, I found my eyes quite teary as certain images projected onto the TV screen. Earlier today, after President Obama was sworn in as our 44th President, he, Michelle and The Bidens were photographed walking down the steps of the US Capitol building and it caused my heart to leap!

I have long been a supporter of Barack Obama and today, my fellow Americans, we not only have our first African-American president in the White House, we also have Catboots.

Yes, that’s right. People may have questioned President Obama’s experience with foreign policy and for that reason, Vice President Joe Biden was a wise choice as a running mate. Barack Obama is a man of words. I believe in his words and that his gift of speech will be an effective tool in dealing with foreign policy issues, but it’s comforting to me to know that if words alone should fail, Jill Biden can get in there and kick some ass.

In all seriousness, today was really an emotional day for me. As I was readjusting to getting back to work after my back surgery, I watched the news coverage of the inauguration on the small set we have at work.

The image of Barack Obama standing to be sworn in as President of The United States in front of The Capitol Building, a structure that slaves help construct, his right hand in the air and his left on the very same bible that Abraham Lincoln used, was too much for this blubberer to bear without waterworks. By the time he spoke to the words “So help me God” and the massive crowd, bursting with an energy I’ve never seen before, starting cheering, I was dripping just like the leaky faucet in my bathroom. The only difference is that I don’t have a handle to jiggle to get it to turn off. Once I get going, I’m like Niagara Falls. I was sniffing all morning talking to customers on the phone.

There may be a new face in The White House, but Obama’s ideas are nothing new to me. I was raised by very Kennedy-esque parents, who believed in service, giving back what you can and working with others towards greater goals. My father was very active in Kiwanis (the name is taken from an American Indian expression meaning “we share our talents”) and from little on, he had my sister and I out there on “Peanut Day” helping to raise funds for future projects servicing children and our community.

I remember as a young little rock chick going out to dinner with my family one evening. As we walked toward the restaurant, a woman approached us and said that she had run out of gas and had no money on her and was wondering if we could help her out. My father reached in his pocket, took out $5 and handed it to her without batting an eye. This was shocking to me because I think was earning an allowance of fifty cents a week and I had to work for it.

I remember asking my dad how he didn’t know she was lying and just wanted our money? My dad said that he couldn’t be sure, but he’d rather take the chance of giving the money to someone who was misleading him, than being cynical and suspicious and not helping someone who really needed it.

My dad died when I was young, but he didn’t leave this earth before instilling his values in me. I have never forgotten those words, nor the lesson I learned from him that day and every day I got to spend with him.

Barack Obama speaks the lessons I grew up with. People see him as many different things, and he is much more than this nation's first black president. He is also hope, perseverance, kindness and magnaminity. What I see is a man who, through his God given gift of speech, is able to speak to people of any color, any economic level and any background. He doesn’t speak to any "type" of person, he speaks to the heart and that’s why he has captured America’s like he has.

I was able to contain myself for most of the afternoon until I saw the live coverage from The Neighborhood Ball this evening. Beyonce sang one of my favorite songs, “At Last”, as our new President and First Lady took to the dance floor. I think the only thing stronger than this nation’s Obama-mania right now is the love they obviously have for each other. It was so sweet and sincere, I cried again.

Today I am so doggone proud to be an American and I am in awe of our new President. God bless him and all Americans as we open this new chapter we are so fortunate to get to experience. I’m praying that his wisdom and words can bring peace all over, but if not, I’m grateful to have Jill’s catboots at the ready.

The days was wonderful to watch and as the coverage and the balls come to a close it’s official. He is signed, presidentially sealed and delivered, baby. He’s ours!

At last! I'm so excited, I could cry!


pjazzypar said...

Girl you crazy! Pointing out the Cat Boots :-D It was a wonderful inauguration. I don't remember a moving day than this and I am so happy I lived to see it. Now go and polish your cat boots(lol).

Jamie said...

It was a wonderful day. All those wonderful values we believed in decades ago that had somehow gotten lost in cynicism were refreshed once more. Doing it in catboots isn't bad either.

Now if only the feeling will stick around long enough for us all to come together right now and make it happen.

This Eclectic Life said...

Yes, he is ours. And, I got all emotional, too. But, this post made me love your Daddy, Jessica. I gotta go cry now. Anybody got a tissue?

Dustin said...

Only you would notice the catboots! LOL

You know, I can relate to what your dad said about giving away the $5. I have to admit, I have felt genuinely upset whenever I've been approached for money and turned them down. There have been times where I turned them down because I believe they're just begging for money and there have been times when I turned them down because I just didn't have any money on me...but either way has left me feeling just a little empty on the inside.

I have an interesting story about giving to someone who approached me once...I wonder if I've blogged it already...I'll have to look and see. If not, I'll post.