And what better people to hear the news from.
Even though I had heard so much good, even though I was encouraged by the polls and the analysts, even though my mother assured me, "Carrie they won't win, it will be okay," I was petrified.
I was petrified because so many places I went and so many words I had read told me otherwise. And although I like to think of our nation as one, it made me so very afraid because I felt that we were anything but that in the days before the election.
The negative ads grew worse in those final days and with our state's race for the governor's seat being watched all over the country, my fear increased. With every McCain/Palin sign I passed, my worry increased. When I watched the final debate as Obama stood and let opportunity after opportunity slip by to attack, I wanted to scream, "Let 'em have it! Now is your chance! Give 'em all you got!"
And he did not.
He did give 'em all he had though, and I realize now that by taking the high road, handling each question with grace, thought and dignity, he did take his chance. He did respond and he did do enough. And as the negativity rose, he never wavered. He never changed his responses even in the light of incredible opportunities to do so and it is this part of his character, this part of who he is, intrinsically, as a human being, that makes him already a great leader . . . before he even sits behind that famed desk in the oval office.
But in the afterglow of the celebrating and the crying and the cheering, a part of our freedom, as Americans, was ripped from our grasps, and many of us did not even notice.
When I heard that Proposition 8 had passed there must have been an internal dialogue happening in my head that went something like this: Wait a minute! Was passing a good thing or not? Did passing mean that California upheld the rights already given to legally wed couples or did it mean that they were taken away? I am CONFUSED? Wait! That is not good at all. It was NOT supposed to pass. How? How? How did that happen? How?
As far as we have come in the time I have been breathing the air on this planet (1973 for those of you keeping track) and now this? How can we stand together when clearly we do not stand together?
If I had been born one hundred years earlier, I would not have had a say. I would not have had a voice and I would not have had a vote. I would not have been "allowed" to write these words. I would not have been "allowed" to make choices regarding my health, my body and my mind. I would not have had a choice regarding my education.
This is not one hundred years ago and while we have gone forward on so many, many things the taking away of another human beings right to live, to love and to be protected under the laws that everyone else has is, for lack of a better word, deplorable.
And so I sit, one part of me breathing a sigh of relief that a choice was made regarding our leadership that I believe will make this a better place to live, to love and to raise my children.
And the other part of me shouldering a grief that I cannot even express.
Things have got to change.
Cheri at Blog This Mom! has a wonderful post up as well, complete with links to show your support and other ways to get involved in your own communities! Check it out!
The United States of Motherhood also has a great post up too! Please, share, love, support as much as you can. We will make a difference!
And now, I don't feel so alone.