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A simple poem: Election day./ Let us pray.

Two momentous events today: my mother may move her bowels, and the Americans will elect a President. In their order of importance.

Mum is, yes, of course she is, better. The sedative calmed her not only for the night but for all of yesterday. Things are stirring in her nether regions. As everyone says about this journey, “It’s a roller coaster.” So – here we go. Onward.

As for the other event – I can hardly bear to think about it. The kind of papers I read seem to think that Obama will squeak through. And thank you, Bruce Springsteen, for your timely help. But my dark fear is this: you do not challenge all of your country’s billionaires and get away with it. If Obama wins against the forces of limitless money (and racism and hatred), it will be a miracle, and it will certainly restore my faith in humanity. But I’m not holding out much hope. The Republicans have created a cheery straw man who says everything they want to hear. We have no idea who the man really is, except a smooth chameleon and fake. As my friend Dora said yesterday at the Y, “Romney drove to Canada with his dog strapped to the roof of his car. That’s when he lost me.”

It will be devastating to wake up in a Republican world. We’ll all be strapped to the roof of his car.

No, another part of me says. It’s just not possible that Romney will win, not with almost every country in the world, every human being with a modicum of intelligence, behind Obama. It’s just not possible!

And then I think of Rob Ford – OUR ELECTED MAYOR – and plummet again. After I teach this afternoon, I’m going to come home, get into bed and pull the covers over my head till Wednesday. And if you believe that, I’ve got some land in Florida to sell you.

On a happier note, a former student wrote yesterday to say that my last post, about being in Ottawa, made her “cry and laugh at the crazy symmetry” with her own life. It brought up an argument she and her sister had had about the care of their elderly parents.

She also said some words that, as you say, stabbed and although she did text me an apology, suggesting we shouldn’t fight over our parents as we all have the same goal, I can’t shelve it so readily.

Your blog helped me. Thanks.

I’m glad when a bit of my truth helps. It may surprise you to know, bloggees, that I don’t tell you EVERYTHING, and I’d debated about putting that in. But it felt important to include that scene, because the truth is that at times of greatest stress, when families need to be at their kindest and most forgiving, we tend to be the opposite. Damage is done, sometimes irrevocably. So the moment when my brother, provoked by his own exhaustion and stress, said something that hurt me deeply, and I was able – partly thanks to the work I’m doing in Judy’s meditation sessions – to breathe, register, put it aside and move on – that’s big. A new level of maturity. At 62. Never too late.

That doesn’t mean I’ll forget, though. 



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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