Tag Archives: Election

#WhyIMarch

“I learned I had to stand for something, so I could stand to be me.”
– Martin Sheen

The Women’s March on Washington is next Saturday, January 21, 2017, the day after President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office.

And I, Melissa Edmondson, will be there.

My critical father asked me a simple question about this choice.

“Why?” 

Why?  Gosh, how can I answer that? How can I make my dad understand? How can I make anyone understand? How can I make me understand?

Allow me to borrow a few more words from Martin Sheen:

“I do it because I can’t seem to live with myself if I do not. I don’t know any other way to be. It isn’t something you can explain; it is just something that you do; it is something that you are. “

How can I say it any better than he already did?

I don’t know how to not be there.

I don’t know how to turn a blind eye to what is happening around us.

I don’t know how to make myself utter the word “President” before the word “Trump.” I don’t know how to watch as basic rights are being stripped away from the people I love. I don’t know how to watch a wall be built between two groups of people because they are different. I don’t know how to watch our country’s leader play footsie under the table with a horrendous dictator who kills innocent men, women and children with no remorse. I don’t know how to continue being the recipient of the “talking down to” that comes from the men around me. I don’t know how to watch men who don’t even know me make decisions for me about my body.

I don’t know how to watch my friend Jeff die because he is about to lose the insurance that pays for the treatments that are keeping him alive.

I don’t know how to do it.

“I don’t know any other way to be.”

I just don’t.

So, daddy, this is why. Is it the waste of time and money that you say it is? If we’re speaking in immediate terms, sure. Maybe it is. I’m not saving the world. I’m one small little pussy hat-wearing face among many. One little voice that will probably be drowned out by all the others.

But one day.

One day.

I will be remembered.

I will be remembered for speaking up. I will be remembered like the role models and heroes that came before me. My children will remember that I was not silent.

I will remember that I was not silent.

We have to fix this. We HAVE TO FIX THIS.

There is no other choice.

wall

***

“I honestly do not know if civil disobedience has any effect on the government. I can promise you it has a great effect on the person who chooses to do it.”
– Martin Sheen

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Christmas Poem

‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
Lay teenagers sleeping
A snoring husband and one grouch.

The election was over
(The whole country lost)
And my heart’s temperature
Could rival Jack Frost’s.

Recent politics and worry
Were still stuck in my head.
Sleep wouldn’t come
So I tossed in my bed.

So far I’d not heard
One jingle bell ring.
Where was the joy
This season should bring?

When suddenly a noise
Cut into my doom and gloom
A crash, some clatters
A few bangs and one boom!

Could it be? Was it really?
Could Santa be here?
Had he arrived just in time
To bring me Christmas cheer?

As usual, my cohabitants
Kept snoring away
I peeked out the window
For a glimpse of the sleigh.

No reindeer in sight,
I wrapped up in my gown,
Headed for the stairs
And then made my way down.

Anticipation mounting,
The living room drew near,
I softened my footsteps,
Stayed silent to hear.

Would old Saint Nick
Finally be caught in the act?
Would forgotten childhood magic
Come flooding back?

My excitement was palpable
I was giddy with glee.
I still couldn’t believe
Santa was here to see me!

I got my camera ready.
(I’d do whatever it took
To get of a photo of Santa
To post on Facebook.)

Unable to contain
My impatience much more,
My iPhone and I,
We burst through the door!

And what did my wonder-filled
Eyes get to see?…
The cats had knocked over
The damn Christmas tree.

No Santa, no sleigh bells,
No presents galore.
Just tinsel and ornaments
Scattered all on the floor.

As has been the mother’s duty
From the dawning of time,
I stooped down to clean
A mess that wasn’t mine.

This story could end here.
A sad tale, yet true.
But this is not
What a poet must do.

A poet finds lessons
In all that abounds,
A poet must turn
This sad story around.

While sweeping up tinsel
I found in its wake
Homemade childhood ornaments
With nary a break,

Presents still wrapped with
A mother’s loving care
For children, nearly grown,
Still sleeping upstairs.

I swept up the mess
In my warm, cozy home,
Sat down on the couch
In the silence, alone.

Realized this ole world
Would keep turning around
Even as politics and Christmas trees
Come crashing down.

The life that still mattered
Surrounded me in this place,
My family and I?
We’d still show loving grace.

We’d treat strangers with kindness
We’d put others at ease
We’d help others up
When brought to their knees.

The spirit of Christmas
(Acceptance and love)
Was still in our hearts,
Still what we were made of.

No President, no politics
Would be changing that.
Our family, each other,
That’s where it’s at.

Looking around at the tidy
Living room once more,
I rose from the cushions,
Put my feet on the floor.

Enough of this sadness
Enough of this gloom
I’d put myself back together
Just as I’d done this room.

Tomorrow was Christmas
A good time to begin
To move back towards the person
I was once again.

Nothing would put me
Back into that slump,
Not even the thought of
Old President Trump.

I went back to my husband
And turned out the lights.
Merry Christmas to all
And to all a good night.

christmas-cat

***

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
– Charles Dickens

Let Us Grieve

“One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”
– Bryant H. McGill

***

So, here’s the thing. I have a little favor to ask of you, my fellow Americans. It’s not much. Just a tiny little thing you might be able to do for me.

STOP MINIMIZING OTHER PEOPLE’S FEELINGS.

Okay?

Seriously, y’all. Stop it.  Now.

What does that mean? you ask.  “Minimizing other people’s feelings?” Valid question. So here, let me give you a few examples:

“Stop whining.”

“It’s not that big of a deal.”

“Calm down.”

“Get over it.”

If I had a dollar for every variation of those I’ve seen in the past 24 hours, I’d have enough money to advance to the presidency myself.

Here’s the deal. I’m going to let you in on a little secret, okay? Ready?

We don’t give a shit who the president of the United States is.

Yup, there it is. I said it.

Is that not very patriotic of me? Eh, maybe not. But it’s the friggin truth. Are we going to be inviting him over for dinner? Is he going to be babysitting our kids? Giving us marriage advice?  Exchanging presents with us on Christmas Eve?

No. He is nothing to us.

WE DON’T CARE.

But here’s what we do care about.

How the rhetoric and example of the person in the highest, utmost position of honor in our country is going to trickle down to the people we are around every day.

Think it doesn’t really matter?

Think again.

Yesterday, kids all over America asked to stay home from school. I know, because mine was one of them. Were they overreacting? Making a big deal out of nothing?  I don’t know. You tell me.

“I turned out the lights on my third graders at 7:38. They come in my room at 7:35. They were arguing about the election within minutes of walking in my room. I turned out the lights and told them that the election was not going to change how we treated each other and we would not be discussing it. They are eight years old. My class doesn’t fight. They were yelling at each other. If kids are acting this way, how far will adults go?”

These are the words from a THIRD GRADE teacher in our small, rural town in North Carolina today.

Third graders.

A facebook status from a concerned friend of adoptive parents:

“So, I’ve been holding this in all day but would like to share it with you now. A friend of mine and his wife have an adopted son from Central America. He came home scared and confused from school yesterday and said that some kid told him that if Trump wins the election then would be sent back to Mexico. My friends had not discussed Trumps policies with their son so this idea was coming straight from others. Connect the dots. This is simple and basic and real. It’s not some media pundit taking up air time. This is our America and it pisses me off. If you think this a problem in our society and would like to discuss how we can fix it then I welcome your thoughts. If you don’t recognize this as a problem then you are part of the problem…”

Again. Right here in Nowhere, North Carolina.

Or better yet.  Here.  How about this one?

“’Yes, sweet boy, God loves you. I love you too.”’

A co-worker whispered these words in answer to a sobbing student today. A student who was born in America, just like my girls. A student who takes care of his siblings and takes on more responsibility on his shoulders than my girls have ever known.

This student walked into his school today to taunting, “You’re going to be sent back to Mexico.” He buried his scared, hurt face in his teacher’s shoulder, and we found a safe place for him to cry. Through my own tears I said, “Find the good people to hang out with today. There is bad, but there are always good people.” And I prayed in my heart, please God, keep letting the good show up.”

That was a middle-school teacher in our same little rural town.

“Please God, keep letting the good show up.”

We are in the middle of nowhere, people. Obama, Trump, Hillary…those people are never going to step foot in this little town that is so far off of an interstate we barely know how to tell people to get to one. We don’t care which one of them is sitting in the oval office at any given time. We really don’t.

THIS is what we care about.

Each other.

If you think this election doesn’t affect every single person walking across this land we call home, you are sadly mistaken. If you are one that can just shrug it off and go about your business and not let it affect you – hallelujah. Good for you. I’d trade places with you in a heartbeat.

But I’m not.

These parents aren’t.

These teachers aren’t.

These students aren’t.

We are in pain, people. Our country is broken. Our hearts are broken. For lack of a more eloquent term, we are treating each other like shit.

And that hurts.

Some of us cry. Some of us rage. Some of us become smartasses. Some of us hide, some of us fight. We all have different ways of dealing with our emotions, but the underlying emotion remains the same.

Fear.

We are scared. We are petrified. We don’t know what is happening to us because most of us haven’t lived through something like this. This is new to us. Those of us under a certain age don’t remember segregation. Stories of the Holocaust are just stories in a history book. Same with stories of the misplaced Indians (well, unless you’re paying attention to the non-front-page headlines these days). We read those stories and we try to empathize but we weren’t there. We don’t understand it.

But when we see a little Mexican boy crying because his peers are telling him he’s going to be deported to a country he has never even seen?

Yeah. Suddenly, it’s real. We feel that.

If you don’t feel it, if you don’t have to experience it, if you’re not around the people who are acting like this – good for you. Really, good for you. I’m happy for you. I hope the rest of the world catches up to the utopia you’re surrounded by.

But for the rest of us out here?

This is very real.

We are hurting. We are scared.

And we deserve your respect.

americacry

Vote for Me! (No, don’t.)

 

Just sitting here thinking about how much I have in common with Trump.

– I’m orange-ish. (My hair anyway.)
– I have a horrible temper.
– I don’t take criticism very well.
– I tend to run my mouth about things I don’t fully understand.
– I love attention.
– I’m writing a book that I’m probably going to have to get someone else to actually write because I don’t know what I’m doing.
– I’ve been married three times.
– I say inappropriate things.
– I post too much on social media.

And, finally, for all of those reasons and more,

– I should NOT be President of the United States.

(Well, except the hair thing. #GingerForPrez2024)

 

noprez

 

***

If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: ‘President Can’t Swim.’
– Lyndon B. Johnson