On Friday, I woke up early. I was excited because it was Inauguration Day. I wanted to watch our new president take the oath of office. I wanted to hear his speech, and, if I am being honest, I wanted to see what the first lady was going to wear. The day was filled with hope. Regardless of who you voted for, the peaceful transition of power is a testament to our democratic process.
The next day was also very interesting. When I turned on the TV, my attention was caught by the sea of pink that filled my screen. Throngs of women were marching, and they had the world’s attention. It was a sight to see, and like the inauguration, it also gave me hope because the whole event, which took place all over the world, was peaceful
Saturday was, also, a day of juxtapositions. Early in the day, I attended the funeral of a dear friend who had passed away, following her courageous battle with cancer. Later that evening, I attended a dinner with another dear friend who is currently battling cancer.
On Saturday morning, I joined the family and friends of my dear friend as they celebrated her life. She had fought hard. She had fought courageously. She had fought gracefully.
That evening, I went to a dinner given by Relay for Life celebrating those souls who are currently bravely living with cancer and their loved ones. I was invited to attend, and I knew that there was no other place that I’d rather be.
I’ve lost two brothers to cancer, and I’ve had countless friends who have also waged their own battles. What I’ve seen when someone I love gets sick is that people rally around them. People show up to show support, to give encouragement, and to show them that they care and that they are loved. No matter what the illness, sickness has a way of bringing people together like no other circumstance can.
Almost a year ago, my brother Bootsie passed away. For months, my son and I would travel to Big Lake to visit him and my sister-in-law and the rest of our family. We went because we wanted to be near him and to show him that we loved him. Most of the time, he was in great spirits, cracking jokes and playing the lottery. It was amazing to me how, often, he was taking care of us, making sure that we were all right, instead of worrying about his health. No matter how sick he was feeling, he never let us know. He was hopeful, and by extension, we were all hopeful.
These past few days have been filled with emotion, the good kind. I am hopeful about our country. I am also hopeful about our town. I’ve seen how we mourn. I’ve seen how we celebrate. Both are very courageous acts because it takes strong people to face down the specter of illness and say that they will fight, regardless of the outcome. So many fight until their last breath. As their loved ones, it is our job to be there for them, encouraging them, loving them, helping them in any way that we can.
We are on the precipice of our future. We have so much to look forward to. We have so much to be grateful for. And yes, we have so much to be hopeful about.
Note: This blog appeared as an article in the 1/26/17 edition of the Kinney County Post.