I have been contemplating for days now just how I would achieve some semblance of balance once this election is over. This blog was intended to be far more high-minded than a daily discussion of mere politics. But I believe that everything has a bearing on the spiritual journey. Our evolution doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I assumed that my 12-step program for this political addiction would begin on Wednesday (with step one, a belief in a Higher Office).
And then Toot died.
I heard it this afternoon right as the news broke on MSNBC. Barack Obama’s ailing grandmother had passed away in Hawaii. I thought about what a difficult day this must be for him, but I also thought about my own grandmother who passed away 22 years ago. Sometimes I still talk to her, especially on a starry night when I have a lot on my mind. I certainly still feel her energy and remember her spirit. How intensely must Toot’s presence be felt in Senator Obama’s private moments on this night.
It seemed impossible to surpass the profound symbolism of Obama’s Democratic National Convention speech taking place on the 45th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Yet, this feels bigger somehow. The people who raise children, be they parents or grandparents or other loving adults, pour more than money and time and expectation into them; they imbue them with their own spiritual stuff, strength of character, and internal compass.
It seems immensely sad that Madelyn Dunham did not live to hear a news anchor say, “We can now safely declare that Senator Barack Obama of Illinois will be the 44th President of the United States of America.” But, perhaps Toot just wanted to make sure she had the best seat in the house for this show tomorrow.
And on starry nights when there is much on his mind, I feel certain that Barack Obama will feel her all around him and seek her counsel once again.