January 07, 2021

THOUGHTS on this THANKFUL THURSDAY

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.


June ~ college behind me, career ahead.  It was 1964 and loaded with luggage I got off the Amtrack train at Union Station, Washington, DC.  Stepping outside, my first ever sight of the Capitol of the United States, I said with excitement and equal amounts of trepidation ... "the White House is beautiful!" What an embarrassed and foolish young woman I was.  Though time worked its magic and I learned and grew and changed.

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.  


Our apologies, but we will not be able to visit or comment with our blogging friends today.


27 comments:

  1. it is heartbreakig to see how everything we worked for goes to the dogs...literally... sigh but I know wthat there are enough good people in this world who can hold our world together...

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  2. A new day and a new beginning is always a blessing sweet June. Thanks for joining our Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

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  3. watching the total chaos of our Captial, did not make me cry, but made me angry that our country has come to this and i sat if fear of what will come after this. our country is divided like it has never been before and in danger of becoming quickly what the rest of the world has been and we have never been. shock and horror is what i felt. but then i have no connection to DC other than at 8 years old getting swatted on my behind in front of the Lincoln Memorial statue because I wanted to go home and not be there and was misbehaving..

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  4. We lived in Maryland for ten years when we were first married and would often drive into DC to exlore or attend events. I, like you, was glued to the tv yesterday alternatively crying and screaming at the screen. We were violated and we are in pain.

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  5. it was a shameful day incited by a shameful manchild, better days are ahead of us now.

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  6. How did you feel about the mobs burning our cities most of last year? Asking for a friend.

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    1. For your friend, for you, or any others who may be interested. I am in most ways liberal, with some conservative view points, having grown up in a very Republican home. As for the mobs, the police actions and events of the past years, I was horrified and yes, shamed. I felt pride listening to many red-state Senators and Congressman speak last night alongside blue-state colleagues; my sorrow was in that they had not spoken out earlier. I watched the burning of Washington DC in 1968. I do not condone mob/thug/destructive/abhorrent activities against our communities and the people within. I do not condone it no matter WHO does it under whatever banner they carry and neither do I condone authorities who react with an inappropriate and far too heavy hand. We have all, over many years, lost our way. We are wearing blinders to what is happening around us. I do put a total burden on Trump, and yet he is in part responsible for bringing to the surface, into the light of day, anger that was long being held in check beneath. A blessing in disguise? Perhaps, as it gives us a chance, if we accept it, to deal with the anger and all else now out in the open. There's no crystal ball to look into to read our future but we each have a chance to mold that future.

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    2. And the police response to the mobs last year was a lot more efficient than it was yesterday. What a coincidence.

      Anne - I know pretty closely how you felt yesterday, and it is not your response I wonder at. I sat crying too. I missed Kent State by three years -( I was out and teaching by then) but as a journalism major, I would have been headed to classes in Taylor Hall about the time those shots rang out. As you say, regardless of one's personal politics, any citizen should be appalled. I too had a kitty - or two - sitting with me the whole time. Purrs.

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  7. I've only been to D.C. once. My mother and I spent a week there touring our nation's capitol and we fell head over heals in love with the majesty and beauty of that amazing place. My heart broke yesterday, I don't think anyone visiting the Capitol building will look at it the same again. Such a shame, my memories of it were so wonderful, we ate Senate bean soup in the capitol café and visited the Utah senator's office (my Mom lives in Utah). Today is a new day, that is true - but I am still wet eyed at what happened yesterday.

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  8. As Biden said, "America is so much better than we are seeing today." Democracy is fragile. As a Canadian, I found yesterday's events shocking and deeply disturbing, but not unexpected. I was encouraged that the Politicians came back and finished the count. I pray the majority of Americans can move beyond this.
    Sending Love, Barb

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  9. What a touching post. We were in tears to think of the loss every American has suffered. You described your heartfelt feelings so well. All of this because of one man's ego trip. He should have been thrown out of the White House months ago.

    Jean

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  10. I wonder, but can't pin point the date//day, when we no longer lived in the.... "UNITED"..... states

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  11. My family and I lived in Maryland for 13 years and when my Connecticut grandparents visited us, we would always head to DC to show them the sites. It is a beautiful city and what happened yesterday is a huge shame! I didn't cry but I did spend a lot of time shouting at the TV, which I do a lot of lately.

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  12. We should all be ashamed of what the so called leaders of our country have allowed. Let's go back to voting in person with proper ID and not allow any more fraudulent and manipulative behavior continue. The so called leaders in the Senate and Congress should be ashamed of their behavior. They want to turn our Democracy into a Socialist mockery. BOO!

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  13. I truly fear for our country, but have long realized our perception controls our reality...It has been a difficult time in many ways, yet the brave never give up hope for a better future, even in the midst of sadness and difficulty...Sending loud purrs, much love and big hugs to darling June and sweet Ann...XO...J, Halle, Sukki

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  14. We feel so sorry for DC. What a sad country we live in much like back in the 60s but more virulent and angry. What would Martin Luther King say?

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  15. It was truly a sad day. XO

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  16. This was a very powerful and touching post. Thank you for sharing. I'm angry. I'm sad. I'm shocked. In my previous life teaching I would explain how our country and government organization was special. I would talk about how other countries expected it to fail, but for over 200 years it had been successful. Yesterday, I was in disbelief. I was thankful that I left the classroom and didn't have to face the questions of students today. I don't know what I would have said. A friend posted that his videos and interactives were cancelled today and he was open all day for students to drop in to talk, ask questions, or just share a few thoughts. I think that was the most teacher thing he could do.

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  17. The majority of those attending were there to peacefully protest, as was their right as American citizens. All morning I watched the coverage, wishing I could've been there, until it all went wrong. It's a shame that the actions of a small percentage have done such damage.

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  18. We were all very sad yesterday too and hope enough people will be held responsible for their actions...and that means all those that incited those to riot in the capitol building.

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  19. We fully understand your pain. It was one of the worst days of our lives. The great men who walked those halls, and to see it become violent. Hopefully better days are coming.

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  20. Wednesday was a very sad day for American history. I sat in front of the TV unable to believe what was happening. Most of the world has looked up to America, and until now those mobs would have been more likely found in a banana republic. That man has much to answer for, whipping his followers into a mindless frenzy. I have no doubt that America will recover in time, but it will be a hard road.

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  21. All we can say is, it's a shame a few bad people did that. They certainly do not represent most of the good people here in this country.

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  22. It's heartbreaking, and i have no words.

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  23. Mee-yow Miss ann an Miss Juen Kitty Girl wee were ther einn spirit with youss' an all Amerycanss who love their countree an wuud not due what was dun. on Cappytol Hill. LadyMew too was upset an angry an shocked. An wundered why no one REELLY herd what that Big Man meowed...hee meowed hee wuud NOT go quietlee an hee sure meened it.
    Mee purrss hee will reealize hee has hert THE entire werld an let THE Mew Pressydent take over without any more nastiness an violence....wee can hope rite??
    **purrss** BellaDharma an ((huggiess)) LadyMew

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  24. We are Canadian, however, we were glued to the television throughout the events. It was heartbreaking to see everything transpire. Now that a new day is before us, let's hope that the country can start to rebuild and set out on the path towards healing.

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  25. You have written what was in Ma's heart when she was watching that. she was more angry and furious, than sad that day. Now she is both. It seems some people were only horrified for a few hours, then it was business as usual. sadly, Ma knew that was coming. We can never let what happened that day go unpunished. it was not okay. it was not just 'a few'. it was not unforeseen. those who think otherwise should feel ashamed.
    Thank you for your words
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥

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