I am melancholy. I am going through our home of the past decade and boxing up the memories from an era that has ended for my husband and me. Our children are either in college or about to go to college and this once noisy and vibrant house now feels eerily silent and hollow, ready to bid us good bye and usher in a new family to house and shelter the way it once did us.
Going through long forgotten contents of cabinets and closets and finding evidence that indeed the past 10 years did happen, albeit with lightening speed (at least from where I stand right now), I have been taken on a nostalgic journey of memories, both happy and sad. As I take down each picture I quickly flash to that point in time and relive the event.
It is wonderful being able to recapture the hopes, dreams, and true joy my husband and I experienced during those past 10 years with our family. We truly felt we had the world by the tail. There were days that we would look at each other and ask: How did we get so lucky? We marveled at having 3 wonderful, perfect children and so much for which to be grateful. Life was truly wonderful. And we knew that our children were so blessed to be citizens in this great country of so much opportunity and prosperity. The sky really was their only limit.
But alas reality inevitably comes creeping in via a television or a quick peek at the internet and I am jerked back to the reality that is today. I am reminded that 5 ½ years ago this country swore in a man named George Bush. A man who campaigned as the guy you’d love to have as a neighbor. The guy you’d invite over for a bar-b-que and a beer. 5 ½ years ago this country was hopeful and innocent. 5 ½ years ago our three children had reasons to believe that life would treat them as well as it had their parents. 5 ½ years ago our three children had equal opportunities limited only by how hard they each strived to reach their goals. 5 ½ years ago I thought each of our three children had the option to have families that they too could raise and enjoy and then nostalgically look back on one day with happy memories.
I realize that I am in a bit of a funk right now, but I cannot help feeling that George W. Bush did to the dreams I had for my children what I just did an hour ago to a glass figurine that I dropped and watched shatter. He has shattered the peace this country had been enjoying by taking us into a war we should not be fighting. He has shattered the respect and good will that many countries felt toward us. He has even shattered the unity that this country felt after the horrible attack on 9/11. He has shattered the freedom to disagree. He has shattered the freedom to be different and not be judged negatively and punitively for it. He has shattered the hopes of a whole segment of our society to be treated equally and with dignity. And in the eyes of this mother, he has committed the unforgivable sin of shattering the hopes and dreams we had for one of our children by singling him out as different, imperfect, and a target for scorn and inferior status.
George, I dream of a day when you are just a bad memory. I dream of the day when this country can start to heal from the damage you have done. And I dream of the day when someone who is truly a great and courageous leader comes along and gives back to my son what you stole from him, the right to be treated the way your 2 daughters will be treated. I cannot wait to say good bye to you George Bush. I just wish it was today and not in 2 years. I am saying good bye to one era of my life today George, sadly it is not the one I want to say good bye to.