What do you see with your big golden eyes?
A bug on the ceiling ~ a fly as it flies?
What's caught your attention? What has you so still?
Scroll down right now, to see what she sees,
I promise you will!
Yesterday I sat atop our polka-dot chair. Mom below, she barely left the chair throughout the day. Sometimes I would see a tear roll down her cheek. Sometimes I saw her shoulders rise and fall and heard a deep sigh. Other times I would hear a louder cry of No, No. Or see her hand clench and pound the arm of the chair. I did not understand this day. Why, I asked. And then she told me her story.
I did not work in government, or politics, or live within the city. But it became my home and I spent more years of my adult life in the nation's Capital and communities around than anywhere else. Close and dear friends were deeply involved in the political arena. So many memories of so much remain within . . .
The slow walk through the rotunda when Hubert Humphrey lay in state. Several inaugural parades. The riots of 1968, being in my office, escorted out to safety by a DC policeman, arriving back at my apartment hours later and photographing smoke rising around the Washington Monument as Washington was on fire. Over the years, extraordinary fireworks celebrating the 4th of July and getting stuck in traffic jams afterwards. The building over years of the metro system and it's disruption of daily life. Totally enthralled by the Redskins (taboo name in later years) football team, attending games, being a member of their Monday Morning Quarterback Club and actually meeting players, just loving it all! The friend who was scheduling secretary for First Lady Rosalyn Carter and often invited me to join her for lunch in the staff lunchroom at the White House, giving bits of a private tour afterwards. Always exploring every museum and sight this city offers. FONZ, Friend of the National Zoo, volunteering on animal behavior watch. Looking out my office window to see the roof of the White House and the south lawn, an amazing view in every season of the year. The years of my "twenties" passed ~ first with roommates, then being able to afford my own apartment. Indulging myself, having fun, exploring photography and skiing and motorcycling and travel to Europe. And even, with a close friend deciding to volunteer time and having our own Girl Scout Brownie Troop.
As those ten years neared a close, I met and married the man I would share my life with in a Catholic church in Georgetown. During the next few years our two children were born in a hospital in Washington, DC. In later years, with sorrow but with love we were there as their grandfather was buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery. Family and friends moved away, new friends came into our lives. As so many we knew chose to visit our nation's Capital over the years that followed, we became hosts and tour guides and came to know this city even better. And as our children grew, we shared with them it's history, it's majesty, it's beauty and it's meaning.
The time came when we moved on, our lives had changed and for the next twenty years we lived in several different homes in several states. The children grew, went to college, married, and beautiful grandchildren blessed our lives now. Then life changed again and my husband passed on, crossing his bridge alone into a place I was not yet meant to be part of. My heart did not know if this was an end or a beginning, though my mind knew it was both. Albeit difficult in a time of sorrow, I focused on the beginning and returned to our nation's Capital, living now in the Maryland suburbs, and was soon able to once again enjoy all the offerings of this extraordinary place. I have been here now, what I believe and feel is truly my home for nine years, even though a few months ago, moving to another residence.
June ~ yesterday, I was transfixed, immobile. Sad and heartbroken. Angry and hurt. This place: this place of history and majesty and beauty and meaning! It is not just my home. It is our home. Ours. Whether one has been here personally, or only seen it in books or on television. Yes, ours, yours. We should be shedding tears, we should feel shame that others have acted as they have. And yet we should not point fingers of blame for all share blame for some measure of acceptance if only by silence. There are sins of commission and sins of omission.
Today let us be thankful that it is not yesterday. Be thankful it is a new day. As each new day will come to us. That is reality. A new day will come for every one of us and we each have the choice to choose rightness on that day, to be on the side of good, to loudly cry NO, no more of yesterday. Be thankful for today.