My heart went out to Obama this week, on his short visit with his grandmother in Hawaii. While I respect the privacy that the press seems to be giving him and his grandmother during the visit, it doesn’t sound promising for her longevity. I only pray that she will see November 4 – imagine the thrill to see your beloved grandson be elected president of the United States.
Obama’s visit with her brought my own thoughts back to my mother. Shortly before Mom died (and shortly after I started blogging), I wrote a piece about how she’d changed from being a life-long, staunch Republican to becoming a Democrat at age 88.. What I didn’t write about, though, was how she admired Obama. She was in awe of his 2004 Democratic Convention speech. In mid-2006, she read Obama’s Dreams from My Father (1995), and was deeply impressed. When my brother came to visit her a couple months before she died, he brought her The Audacity of Hope (2007), which she devoured. She would so look forward to the times when Obama was on her must-see political Sunday morning talk shows (Meet the Press and others).
Mom thought that Obama brought much-needed hope to a hurting society. She’d say how we needed hope, now more than ever, particularly in light of the Iraq debacle and the widespread pocket-lining in and around government while the people who truly needed help were ignored. She thought Obama just might be the real deal. I think she was right.
Barely a day goes by that I don’t think of Mom; that something doesn’t remind me of her. While I wish she were still with us, there have been events that I’m glad she didn’t have to witness: the death of Tim Russert, the financial crisis and stock market implosion, the failures in Afghanistan. The one thing I wish she could have seen was how well Obama has done; how he’s on the cusp of winning the presidency. Then again, just maybe she’s upstairs helping him . . . .
Mom would have approved Obama’s visit to his grandmother. When I go to Virginia on Friday to help Obama, it’ll be largely in Mom’s honor. I know she would have approved of that, too.