I had to step away from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram because I can’t stop the tears from pouring from my eyes. Reading the stories of why women and men are voting today for Hillary is inspiring and gives me hope that the hatred that has spewed from the Republican party for over twenty years may have reached its limit.
My hands shook as I put my ballot in the counting machine. I choked on the frog in my throat as I passed other women dressed in white entering the polling place. I exchanged knowing, secret glances in the elevator with other women dressed in white and pantsuits. It was the unspoken, “I got your back, sister!”
I sat in my car and hunted for some tissue. This, I was not prepared for. The emotional reaction at the historical significance of voting for the first female president of the United States.
I cried for my daughter who should never have to wonder if a woman can be president, who should be free to live her life how she wants to and to love whomever she wants to without fear of reprisal from the small-minded and petty.
I cried for my mom who told me that it wasn’t until 1992 when she was able to get a car loan all by herself without having to have her husband’s signature, too. Ironically, I’d already purchased my first car and qualified for a loan before my mother.
I cried for my deceased grandmothers who lived long enough to vote for the first African American president but not long enough to vote for the first woman president. Oh, how happy they’d be today. I cried for them because they were trailblazers in their communities and in their own occupations. My maternal grandmother, Nelle, would proudly state how she was the first female on the executive payroll at Brown Shoe company. Growing up, I heard this story over and over, but it wasn’t ‘til I got older did the significance of her achievement hit home. I had the luxury of always assuming that women would, of course, be on the executive payroll. But someone had to do it first for the rest of us.
I cried for my ex mother-in-law who told me of a time when she went to withdraw money from her business checking account and it was empty. She’d worked so hard making cakes and catering parties and had built up quite a nest egg. But a woman wasn’t allowed a bank account without her husband, her father, or her brother on it as well. She was stunned and gutted when she learned her husband had withdrawn her money and there was nothing she could do about it.
I cried for the women who are afraid to vote for Hillary because of a man in their life.
I cried for the women who found the courage to stand up and speak out about their sexual assault and for the countless women who still sit in silence.
I cried for the women who were beaten and dragged through the streets and humiliated because they supported the 19th Amendment. I thanked them for not giving up.
I thanked Hillary for not giving up on us and on our country.
I cried for my sons because today they saw their mom, a strong, extraordinary single mom who’s made so many sacrifices for them stand up and proudly cast her vote for another strong, extraordinary woman who is more than qualified to lead our country. They are encouraged to see millions of others coming to the polls to repel the hatred that has threatened our communities. If they were of voting age, they’d be casting their votes for Hillary, too.
We are a beautiful nation filled with amazing people who believe in each other. That is who the world needs to see and I pray today is the start of something new, something better and a stronger country because we are together.
#imwithher #strongertogether #election2016 #herstory