Wednesday, August 27, 2008

National Conventions.......

History was made tonight with the nomination of an African American man for the highest office in the United States ! Linda and I watched the process on CNN and it was a very moving event and one that many people did not feel would come in our lifetime. When you think about how far we've come in the last 50 years....from the back of the bus to the possibility of an African American man serving in the Oval Office. Wow !!
Linda and I have watched the convention proceedings this year but typically I don't like to watch the conventions. Convention time is a reminder to me of a dark time in my life.
In June of 1972, my grandfather went to the hospital to have an operation for a hernia that he had lived with most of this life. He had put it off because he did not like hospitals and so he had suffered for many years with it. Finally he decided to have it taken care of. He had the surgery and was recovering from it but died when a blood clot dislodged and moved to his heart, killing him. I was 12 and can still remember the disbelief my grandmother, mother and I felt when we arrived at the hospital and were given the news.
My grandmother had a very hard time with his death and my mother told me that I needed to go and stay with my grandmother for the summer. My grandparents farm was close to my house.....just a few miles away. But it might as well have been hours away, as I felt very isolated there....staying day after day when I wanted to be home. My grandparents slept in separate twin beds within one big bedroom and I slept in my grandfather's bed each night. My grandmother would cry herself to sleep most nights; grief stricken by the loss of my grandfather. My grandparents were a team, loving spouses and a dynamic couple who worked hard on the farm. His sudden death was almost more than she could bear.
I remember enduring the 1972 conventions that long, hard summer. As a twelve year old, it wasn't my choice to watch the electoral process unfold. When you live in a rural area, as we did, you got very limited TV reception. Such was the case at my grandparents farm. They got one station and lo and behold, it was covering the conventions. How lucky for me.....I would spend evenings watching TV to pass the time, until I eventually had to go to bed. George McGovern and Richard Nixon....we know how that all turned out. I haven't been a fan of conventions since then.....until NOW.
I think the shadow has been lifted on my opinion of conventions. At least I have a sense of hope.....we'll see what happens over the course of the next 69 or so days. Will we emerge from the darkness that has overtaken our country or will we fall deeper into the shadows ? It's up to us to make that determination.

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