Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Eve Sadness and Hope

There was news today that Barack Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has passed away.
It almost seems too bittersweet that she would pass away before Election Day.

Madelyn Dunham:October 26, 1922 - November 3, 2008
She and her late husband Stanley raised the young Barack in Hawaii for many years while his mother, who had remarried, lived abroad.

Known within the family as "Toot", a shortened form of the Hawaiian word "tutu" meaning grandmother, she gave him a stable home and the traditional American values brought from her own Midwestern childhood. She was also a trailblazer in her own right, having risen from a lowly position to be one of the first women vice-presidents of the Bank of Hawaii.

In a major speech on race he gave in March, Mr Obama described her as "a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world".
When my own father passed away, it was a shock and yet not completely a surprise, as he had been diagnosed with cancer. After a hard battle, the cancer became too much, and spread too far and too quickly. We knew we didn't have a lot of time left, but I knew that still his thoughts were for us. That is always the way with parents and grandparents, they think more about the happiness and well being of their children. I can only imagine how much pride Obama's grandmother must have had for his accomplishments.

If Barack Obama becomes the 44th President of the United States, it will mean so much to so many Americans, including myself, but in particular to many older Americans who experienced the Civil Rights movement.

This picture of this older gentleman in Times Square watching Obama's acceptance speech in Denver during the Democratic National Convention says it all.
The tears and naked emotion on this man's face would move anyone with a heart. So many African Americans never thought that they would see this day in their lifetime.

Tomorrow I will cast my vote for Barack Obama, and hope that America finds the strength and the common sense to vote for Obama, our best hope for the next President who could lead the US into a new chapter in history.
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