Election Day 2016

Something will happen tomorrow.

You’ll get up. You’ll do your thing. You’ll work or play or study. And the world will get herself around that sun.

We’ll survive.

And in America, we’ll have a new president.

I went to a memorial service tonight put on by the incredibly caring people at Hospice of Spokane. They offered tips for getting through the holidays and sang folk music and let us cry our tired little eyes out together with strangers. They gave us candles to light and food for our bellies; a great reminder that in the midst of the grief and the pain, you still eat and you enjoy the cookie at the end.

I don’t think they planned it on November 7 for any particular reason. I don’t think the coordinators considered that the next day would be Election Day nor that the stakes would feel so high. But it happened this way and it fits.

Because tonight I was sort of forced to put down the state-of-the-union anxiety and the sick fascination with our political system. I was instead captivated by Remembrance and Standing in the Pain. Because it hurts and it should, that she’s gone. And whoever wins tomorrow won’t change the fact that the most important things in life are temporary – that life itself is fleeting. The next POTUS has nothing to do with the hand squeeze my “person” gives me when they light candles or the note my nephew passes on a sugar packet that says I love you.

Whoever wins tomorrow and whatever comes will not pacify my grief nor stifle my joy in the people I hold dear. My children will be just as precious to me, my husband just as beloved. I’ll still feel warm fuzzies when I think of my family and friends and we’ll still be there for each other in a million different ways. And I’ll still miss my Momma. I’ll still try to believe she’s with me in some new way.

So while they count votes, I want to count the people I love and the experiences I am so glad to have. Chocolate, for example. And sex. And good coffee. And sunsets and wildflowers and rain and mud. I want to count up the tallies of Beautiful Things and Good Things and True Things. All one thing, really. In some cosmic election Love runs uncontested and no hanging chads can take away the victory.

There are a lot of things to worry about these days – things you aren’t going to read about in the New York Times. But the memorial tonight reminded me that there are also so many things to be grateful for, to miss, to cherish, to celebrate. There are way more things to hold onto than there are to make us lose a grip. And in fact, what can we fear when we have what cannot die or fade or be corrupted or get nuked? When we go to bed tomorrow night – whether the election went the way we hoped it would or not – those things will still be true. Love will win.

But you can take a recount if you want.

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