It began on November 5th when Tidewater Hospice held their yearly Service of Remembrance for families of patients who had passed away the previous year. I was honored to be asked to light the first candle, the candle Memory. I confess to not really wanting to go and just wanting to get through it, not realizing it would open a wellspring of emotion. Tears just came. It wasn't the "ugly cry" or uncontrollable sobbing. It was just endless tears rolling down my cheeks. I was in good company as there were sniffles throughout the service and after. It was emotional for all of us. In my case, I think I had just wanted to get through my mother's service in North Carolina and get home, without really taking time to process the whole thing. This service brought it all to the surface, which, I guess, is a good thing. The service was beautifully done and very touching. It was good to see families of those I knew from Bloom and have a chance to catch up. A light lunch was served, which gave us an opportunity to chat a bit and catch up with Tidewater staff, who are some of the kindest, most caring people I know. The whole thing was very touching and more emotional that I expected. The complete service can be seen HERE.
I remained weepy and easily touched by the slightest thing for the next few days; but, I was a poll watcher for the Democratic Party on election day, so I had to get myself together for that. I have never seen so many (mostly white) people voting (though about 40-something percent of the population didn't vote at all.)!! There were 9 voting machines and people were waiting 10 deep to vote, with lines outside the door waiting to get in. I kept saying, "It's South Carolina. It isn't representative of the rest of the country. Stay calm!" As we all know, it only got worse from there. I tried to stay awake for the results as I also like to follow down ticket races, but I fell asleep with the TV still on. I awakened a little after 3AM with Trump giving his acceptance speech....a nightmare come true! I was disappointed early on, but fully expected things to improve once returns started coming in from other parts of the country. As we know, that didn't happen.
This is where the rant begins:
I am still in disbelief and mourning. The first thing that struck me was the misogyny. I have to confess to being mostly unaware of it, being a white woman, but this firm slap-down was too much to ignore. Part if it had to be a backlash to President Obama, which the Republican party has blatantly exhibited......but to follow that with a woman! Never!! The fact that a shallow, empty, vile man was preferable to the most capable, able woman in the country is downright unbelievable and frightening. She was demanded to be perfect, which nothing, not even civility, was expected of him. It makes me angry even now to think of it!
It surprised me how saddened I was that we are not likely to have a woman president in my lifetime, certainly not one as eminently qualified as Hillary. Elizabeth Warren is a great possibility, but even she doesn't have the depth and scope of knowledge of Hillary. Even so, it isn't likely to happen in my lifetime. Factor in everything that will be undone over the next 4-8 years and who knows how long it will take us to get back to the dismal place we are now.
Then there is the bone-chilling sadness that our country is as racist, sexist, xenophobic and all the other -ics and -isms you can think of. I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking so much of that was behind us, when really it was just lurking below the surface. It began showing it's ugly head with the Bush administration, but when President Obama became President, it became full blown....championed by the Republican party. Even the smallest modicum of respect I might have mustered for the GOP is gone! None!
And, that all of the hate-filled, negative, destructive thoughts and actions can be swaddled in religion is beyond belief. I call it "moral/ethical gymnastics" when you can skew your religious beliefs to conform to your personal negative, hateful beliefs. I've been a lapsed Presbyterian for many years, but it makes me wonder what churches are teaching these days. It seems very different from what I was taught as a child. If you want to be really freaked out, read THIS, which was posted by a "friend" on FB the day after the election! That, posted by a former teacher and "Christian". will give you an idea of what we have here! Needless to say, my view of religion has changed in the last few days, too!
All of this negativity and hatefulness causes me to view people differently. In an area where most people voted Trump, I look at friends and family differently and wonder how much of a friend they can be and how much we really have in common if they hold the views that Trump represents.....and knowing they probably view me as a liberal heathen! At the moment, until I can get my own head straight, I've kept to myself. My election plan was to celebrate with Drinking Liberally friends the day after, but I couldn't even manage that. I knew their support was there, but I was still too emotional to manage it. Several of us are getting together on Wednesday for "underground grieving" over lunch. I should be able to surface by then!
All of this has been played out of social media with stories of hatred and bigotry already becoming more blatant. That is something we can choose to view or not, but locally the new Black Chamber of Commerce in Beaufort was burned down the night after the election. Details have yet to be determined, but this is the South! That threw me back to my childhood when my elementary school was burn to the ground rather than be integrated! I guess that is another reason all of this has hit me so hard......after all these years, we have advanced so little! it really does break my heart on so many levels.
If all of that isn't enough....
- Leonard Cohen died and "Hallelujah" is everywhere!
- It's a dark, drizzly day
- I had to almost remortgage the house to have my front yard re-sodded
- The community has already put up Christmas decorations....and I don't even want to think about Thanksgiving, to say nothing of Christmas!!
- And my water heater died yesterday
Even so, it's not all bad......I'm sure it's not all bad! I do think this has awaken us quiet, polite Democrats to a call of action. It has helped us realize that we can no longer be quiet to friends and family. We need to be true to our values and become more comfortable expressing them. Several women's groups have sprung up online which can serve as a great base for future mobilization. It is also my hope that women will recognize their power and be the next major political force for positive change.
Well, thanks for listening....and a special thanks to those who have been in touch...Ann, Eileen, Cheryl, Chris, Jacqui, Jan, Jean, Jenny, Paula and Victoria (forgive me if I've forgotten anyone). It means more than you know and I'm not ignoring you.....I will surface soon. Change is constant and this too shall pass.....and I'll be feeling better, as will you! Things will get better so lets hang in there.
To end on a light note.....this is Rosie at her naughtiness! She sometimes does this if a toy is accidentally left under the covers. For all of her naughtiness, she's the only thing that got me out of bed on the 9th!!