Dear President Trump,
Laura’s dad was an old guy in the early 1990’s, but he had a pin that said “I’m surrounded by idiots.” I wish we still had that pin. Even more, I wish we still had Laura’s dad. He and I got along really well. We’d sit quietly for hours in his screened-in porch while Laura was riding her bike. I’d knit and he’d chain smoke, work crosswords, and occasionally sneak up on wasps to kill them. We’d talk some and usually at dusk he’d tell me stories and sometimes cry about things he wished he’d done differently in raising his kids. I’m not sure, but it seems like our quiet positive regard for one another helped him come around to accepting Laura’s sexuality and us as a couple.
His funeral was the same day as the 1994 Texas Governor’s race. He was a lifelong Republican and we so hoped that enough Bush voters would be at the funeral that Ann Richards would get the win. If he’d been alive on November 8th, 2016, I’d like to think he would have seen through you and would have had the honor to stay home. There’s no way to know what he would have done about voting that day, but I do know the three of us would have continued to be companionable and loving. We would have let him keep having two Scrabble turns to our single turns and we would have kept buying him too sweet butter brickle ice cream. And he would have loved his granddaughter and she would have loved him.
I’m telling you all this because it’s important to remember that love begets love. Obviously we had deep ties with Laura’s dad that made it more likely we’d be invested in one another despite our differences, but the lessons can be extrapolated to other relationships. For example, how different would the conversation be if instead of asking Sarah H-S to leave the Red Hen, the staff had written her a note along with the check and let her know they’d voted and agreed not to spit in her food and to treat her with respect and dignity because she is a human being? They could have taken a picture of the note and posted it to social media to make their points public (or not). It would have been radical in so many ways and could have helped show the country a path forward. Maybe next time.
May we safeguard people whether we agree or disagree with them.
May we be happy to speak up and tell them we disagree with them.
May we keep our moral integrity intact and healthy when voicing our concerns.
May we keep breathing out peace even when others are breathing out hostility.