Sunday, October 1, 2017

on a century of Phyllis

My grandma Phyllis would have been 100 years old today.

She was born before women had the right to vote, and died in 1994 at the age of 77. She modeled strength and tenacity- but also and weakness and human-ness. She had, of course, deeply unconditional love for her son, my biological father, despite his demons.

Phyllis was ahead of her time. She was a strong single mother in a time where that was unacceptable, and her influence is alive 23 years after her death. I am proud to be part of her lineage.

I like to think she would have been amused and adored by my babies. Her legacy and generosity has touched their lives, even though they are too young to realize it. I also like to think she had a heavenly role in sending my "step" dad to our family and influencing the next phase of our lives.

My life intersected with hers for less than ten years - but her memory is alive. May we all be remembered with love, by happy and grateful grandchildren, more than two decades after we are gone.

Happy 100, PDM. You are missed.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

on Immigration

As far as I know, the entirety of my family tree came from elsewhere.  England, Ireland.  Eastern Europe.   To my knowledge, I have no indigenous blood running through my veins.  My ancestors came here, to America, seeking refuge, hoping for a better life.   And America was that for them - for so many million of us - a place where we are all invited, where we are all free.  The Statue of Liberty shining in a harbor, emblematic of that welcoming spirit. 

Give me your tired, your poor... your huddled masses yearning to break free.

Today the world was shocked by President Trump's inhumane executive order, which, among other things, banned all people from 7 countries, including Syria, whose citizens were banned indefinitely (and who need our help, desperately).  

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me.

President Trump - you do not speak for me when you say "we do not want them there". I have no hate in my heart, no fear in my head.  We are all immigrants.  I am ashamed that you represent me.   

How can this man (and his supporters) claim to be "pro life" and yet anti-refugee?  Do they see what will happen to these people?  These people are just like our ancestors were, one or two hundred years later.  The hypocrisy is both heartbreaking and enraging.  

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Friday, January 20, 2017

on our President 2017

Today Donald Trump becomes president.  I have yet to fully wrap my head about it, but I'm not a denier- as a proud American, he IS now my president, like it or not.  (And to be clear, I do not.  I do not very much).   It's a very strange day.  A very strange time.  

I hope that 4 years from now, that people's lives have gotten better, not worse- in that way I wish him well; I hope his policy changes fail decidedly- in that way I wish him failure. 

I will not be watching the inauguration today.  I do not have to embrace something to accept it.  I will be powering off the TV, closing the browser on CNN and letting my donations do most of the talking today: to Planned Parenthood, to the ACLU, to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.  To the NAACP.  To NARAL Pro-Choice America.  To RAINN.  

President Trump, I am angry.  I’m angry and I’m frustrated and I’m disappointed in you already.  If I have any hope in you at all, then it’s just that you begin giving the sacred office the respect and honor that it deserves.