Did my part
Today when I went to vote, I only had to wait about 15 minutes. There was only one person in line before me to sign in, and all the voting booths were full. Chatting with the poll workers, they told me that they had had a busy day. I live in a very small town, and they said they had had about 350 people come in to vote and that roughly 150 had voted early. I didn't care if I had to wait today (though I'm glad I didn't), I like voting on Election Day. I just wish that Tennessee provided a written record of our electronic votes. I wanted a sticker or something to show that I'd voted, but no such luck here. It's enough knowing that I did.
Two things struck me today. I am so used to seeing my husband's name on the line immediately before mine on the voter registration list. This year it wasn't there, but immediately after my name was my daughter's who had already voted. This was her very first vote, and I was excited and proud to see that, while I still had that little gasp of loss and missing my husband anew. Oh, he loved politics. His father held an elected office, and he literally grew up in politics. I've got so many adorable pictures of him as a kid at different politicians' desks and at campaign functions. A presidential election night ranked up there with the Tennessee-Alabama game for getting him excited, and I'll miss watching the returns with him tonight. My husband didn't come across as a smart man until you got to know him, and then his mind surprised and delighted. He was sweet, humble and gentle, and didn't need to make a show of his intelligence. However, he was very smart and very astute with his political observations. Not having him around during a presidential campaign has been very different, but remembering his passion feels good in a tender, achy kind of way.
My second realization today was that this was the eighth presidential election in which I've voted. My first vote was for Ronald Reagan, and I still remember how proud and hopeful I was when I cast that vote. After that, it was Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Kerry and now Obama. I have voted Republican for other offices, but experiencing the economy under Reagan, Bush and now W has made me exceptionally distrustful of Republican presidents. The only time in my adult life I've seen this nation prosper as a whole has been during the Clinton administration.
So, I've done my civic duty today, and I'll be watchful and prayerful tonight. May God/dess bless whoever wins, our nation and our world.
election, voting, memories