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January 21, 2013

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Flannista

A link to our post about the Inauguration four years ago:

http://www.sassistas.com/sassistas_our_dish_on_the/2009/01/praise-song-for-the-day.html

That's neighbor Sassley and me toasting the President and First Lady with champagne. We won't be doing that today.

treesta

Good morning, Flann. I've been sitting here after reading this post thinking about where we were four years ago.

Four years ago I, along with DCsistah and just shy of a couple of million other people, arrived at the Washington monument. We got there just as the eastern rim of the night sky was turning pink, and still the closest we got to the Capital building was just under the Washington Monument. We stood there for six hours in 20 degree temperatures waiting to watch Obama take his oath. Six hours. For the last two hours, we stood shoulder to shoulder with those around us. Bumping each other each time we shifted feet. No room to sit. Everyone was kind and considerate and patient with one another. When the speech was over, we began to walk back to find a bus to take us back to DC's house in NE. Walking isn't the right word - we shuffled. Shuffled when we could move. Shuffled all the way to K and 18th before the crowd thinned enough to take full strides. There were hundreds and hundreds of people waiting at every bus stop. We couldn't get near any Metro stations for the crowds. And yet everyone remained... kind and considerate and patient. I remember reading in the paper the next morning that no one, not one single person, was arrested that morning. That's what I will remember always from that day - kindness, consideration and patience.

treesta

This year, I was fully intending to go back downtown. We, as individuals, and we, as a country, have been through so much in the last four years. So much has changed and continues to change. I want to celebrate, if nothing else our tenacity, our ability to hold the uncertainty and the unknown as we take each step.

Yesterday, Flann, you asked me about the differences I feel between then and now. I've thought about that question since. One difference is that, without a partner to encourage me to schlep downtown in the cold and be a companion while there, I decided not to go.

Another difference is that my family was just beginning to journey with my Mom into the fog of Alzheimer's. She's been gone almost three years now. My sister called last night to ask me to drive to PA to visit her grave today. Those visits are so very important for my sister. So after a quick shower, off I go. I'll have to watch the inauguration today in re-runs. Facing the changes in each day. One step at a time. Grateful for those walking with me along the way.

nowayasista

There seems to be a fear that permeates the National psyche. Especially true of folks my age. Hard to pin down. Fear of change. Fear of harm. Fear of ourselves. Fear of each other. Thus, tough decisions have been put off. Not because of the wrangling of lawmakers, but the will of the people is not there. Uncharacteristic for a Nation known for its boldness. Perhaps in the next 4 years we will take a cue from the generations behind us who are not afraid of change. Who still believe in the proverbial boot straps and will make it happen. Perhaps in the next 4 years we will stop thinking of ourselves and think of the nation. No President can lead us there. We need to muster the fortitude to go there ourselves.

treesta

Good morning, noway. I, too, sense that fear, have sensed it for most of the last four years as the economy tanked. And like Flann, I sense the fatigue. But lately, I also sense a weary resilience - a 'this isn't going away, so let's keep going.' We still have a long way to go, thus the weary. But I sense the resilience, also. Time to take the next step.

Flannista

Such thoughtful and inspiring comments from treesta and noway. Thank you.

Yes, time to take the next step and time to muster the fortitude to go there ourselves.

PEACEsista

Did I give it all in the past four years? Yup. But, it was not on the political or professional fronts. It was personal.

In just the past year I: welcomed a son home from war ... for the third time; nurtured my mother as she declined ... and then buried her; supported my family with elbow-grease and comfort, helping to put her affairs in order; supported seven friends (over half of them my age or younger) and their families at the end of their lives; attended a lot of funerals. That was just one year of the past four. I've posted before that last year a tsunami of death swept through our lives.

I am taking better care of myself than ever before, eating more healthfully and working-out. I am not doing this to protect my own health so much, as to strengthen myself for all that is yet to come. Fatigue is very real, my sisters, but if we are to go the distance for our beloveds, we will need to rise above it ... somehow ... if we are truly going to give our all.

Flannista

Thank you, PEACEsista, especially for always giving your all to those you love. Matissta and I have been and will always be grateful.

Flannista

The inaugural poem was stunning. Just stunning.

Peter

I've been thinking a lot about the concept of sacrificing for the nation in terms of military service and other ways. About "Ask not what your country can do for you." We live in a country that feels entitled to consistency, if not actual entitlement programs and tax breaks. I've been really thinking about this, and since the draft ended with the Vietnam War, it looks to me like we have whole generations of people who have never really faced the prospect of sacrificing for their country. Heck, It wasn't really that long ago in the good old, greatest generation, WWII days that the government was not only telling people what they could buy, and when they could buy it, but also how much of it, because the government needed popular participation to confront a real threat. Really, maybe some of you older folks can correct me if I'm wrong, but what have people really been asked to give up in recent history? What have people been asked to do for their country?

I know a guy in the Army who missed his first two children's first years of life overseas and his third child's second year. Voluntarily.

Meanwhile, the physicians lobby is pissed about the prospect of making a little less, people are up in arms about potentially waiting a couple extra years for their social security, and about paying a few extra percent in taxes. The argument is this: "I worked for that, I EARNED it, it is mine, you can't take it!" There is truth there, and I see it, but certainly money and time is no greater sacrifice than the first years of a child's life, and no more dramatic than fuel and tire rations. We don't need men on battlefields to confront our great threats right now, no one needs to plant victory gardens or go without, but we do need people who are willing to sacrifice in other ways for the benefit of their country. Pay a little more, get paid to work a little longer. It's a personal request, but historically speaking, it is not a substantial one...We've just become whiners. Everyone seems to respect and applaud "Patriotic Duty," they just don't always appreciate it when it is their turn to step up to the plate. There are still debts paid in blood, but these days they are far less common, and certainly no more threatening to our long-term security than the more traditional kind.

Flannista

Thank you, Peter, for your thoughtful comment.

You'll have to forgive me for not responding more at length. Matissta received some very dire and sad news about Momista which has eclipsed most everything, including the inauguration. I will say this, Momista is someone who gave her all for her children who are now at a loss as to how they can give back to her the life that is slowly fading away.

PEACEsista

Amen, Peter.

Most of our representatives in Congress are not willing to ask their constituents to sacrifice for fear of not being re-elected. Their attitude is only a direct reflection of our own, the people who elect them to office. Times are tough for some people, but in my experience, no one is being asked to sacrifice to the degree that our military members are and THEY are hyper-aware of that fact.

babysis

Prayers for consolation for Matiss and her family. Keep us posted.

Flannista

Thank you, babysis.

On a joyful day for many in the country, this is a sad day for the Sassistas! Thank you all for your continued prayers for peace.

PEACEsista

My prayers for Momista, Matiss, her family and for you, dear Flann are continuous. I am holding you all close to my heart.

The best piece of advice I can offer in these matters (and I know you didn't ask for any) is to trust what your heart tells you and to follow it's wisdom. If your heart says "Go," then, go. If it says, "Rest," it is not a suggestion. Take good care of yourself. Follow your heart, dear Matiss. It will not lead you astray.

Justista

Mattis: my heart is with you.

Flannista

Thank you all. Matiss is downstairs, waiting for a conference call with her brothers.

She said, "I'm numb."

treesta

Hello, everyone. I just finished watching the inaugural speech, the poem, clips from the day. But overriding all, I am thinking of Matiss and Momista and their family. They will walk a most tender journey in the days and weeks to come. I pray they will be blessed with moments of incredible love and joy in the midst of all they must do. Love, friends.

treesta

The word in the code thingy was 'FAMILY'. To Matiss's family, by birth and chosen, love and peace.

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