Sunday, November 2, 2008
yes my mom voted, and I am so proud
It has been 12 years since my father passed away, and that means 12 years since my mother voted. But this year, she is finally back in the race and I am so proud of her.
My father was one of those people who really took this voting thing seriously since he came of voting age during the 50's and 60's when African Americans were fighting for the right to vote. Every voting day he would get up really early with my mother and they would head out to stand in line at the polls. He was proud to be there, and she was proud to be by his side.
I bet he never missed an election, unless he was shipped out of the country by the military for some reason. But it was their thing. They would talk about the elections, and then they would go to the polls as a united front, my mother and father, two die hard democrats. My mother's voice never wavered from my fathers, and if you put their ballots side by side they were pretty much identical. The idea of voting meant even more for my mother because she had become a naturalized American citizen and recognized the importance of election day.
Well, November 1st, 1996 my father died, and my mother just could not bring herself to go to the polling place alone. Her voting buddy was not there by her side.Several presidential elections passed without her casting a vote, and I didn't try to push her because I didn't want to bring up those memories of my father for her, causing her to slide into a depression.
But something happened this year. All of a sudden she started to get caught up in the election. She would start talking to me about Barack Obama and John Mccain. She would get mad at something that had been said, and would mention it to me. Finally one day, after the conventions, I called my mother and said, Ma, give me your info I am signing you up to vote, and this time you are going to do it and stop talking about it. She then quietly said I want to do this, I want to vote for Barack Obama.
That night, I went on line with her on the phone, and we registered her to vote. It was an amazing moment, and I was so proud.
A few weeks later she called me all excited, she had received her early voting ballot and was going to fill it out. I was so happy and proud she was going to try to do it on her own. Well, then my mother told me she messed up on the ballot, and accidently marked John Mccain and then tried to scratch it out. I just sat there with my mouth hanging open. My mom votes for the first time in 12 years and then she votes for the wrong person! I had to start laughing. Then she told me she sent the envelope back to the recorders office and they said they would send her a new one. Well, I sure didn't believe that would happen, but my mom was so upset by that point that I just agreed with her, figuring it was a lost cause but I didn't want her to be disappointed.
Then, last week, she called me up to tell me the new ballot had arrived in the mail! I was like, Don't touch it, I will be over to help you this time. So, the next day I got to her house and we sat down at the table together, and I helped her fill it out. It was an amazing feeling! Here I was, with my mother, helping her to vote in this historical election. She did it. She made her own decisions, she voted!
I am so proud of her, and I wanted everyone to know. I love you mom!