And yes, I wept. I've been crying a bit all day, tears of anxiety and anticipation, and both S and I were choked up when it became clear that Obama will be this nation's 44th president. We cried throughout his sweeping, solemn speech tonight. My heart is so full it hurts.
(And I'm a white woman. I can only imagine how much all this must mean to folks of color.)
As I heard Obama speak tonight, I kept thinking -- It will be so lovely to actually look forward to hearing what the President has to say. (To not cringe at the prospect, to not feel physically ill at the sight of his face, the tenor of his voice!) To feel inspired by and proud of the leader of my country. That alone is a most welcome change.
As we watched the returns, S mentioned that he's surprised I'm not more exuberant. I am, too. (Part of it is being on edge about Proposition 8. And as a married heterosexual; again, I can only imagine how other folks must be feeling about this. With our house being just 2 doors away from the polling station, we had folks out on the sidewalk for much of the day with "No on 8" signs and handouts, trying for that last-ditch pitch before the polls. Fingers crossed.)
So, for all the joy I'm feeling -- jubilant I am not. Hugely relieved, I am. Grateful. Hopeful. Very much aware that the road ahead from here is indeed steep and long. After Obama's speech, S said, "I just hope he lives up to all that." My anguished reply: "I just hope he lives." I hate it that I keep thinking like this, but I'm terrified by what historical precedent suggests, by the bright beacons of hope snuffed out too soon. I'm not one for outright appeals to the divine, but God, please protect this brave, beautiful man and his family. For his sake and for all of ours.