Thank you all for supporting me through my nineteenth nervous breakdown. Well more like nineteenth hundred, but I haven’t known most of you that long. Sure you’re thankful for that. I will return all comments over the weekend and/or during the week, I hope. Really want to get the pages of truly great things–and some a bit sarcastic–but hey I’ll take a cab ride with Tom Waits anytime–people have said about me and/or Courting. Though we are one and the same. Sometimes even I think I’m the Courting Pin-up
It’s 62 degrees out so I’m going out. And I will change the late great Warren Zevon’s saying from “enjoy every sandwich,” to “enjoy every salad,” because truthfully I can’t remember the last time I had a sandwich. Have a great weekend. Spring has finally sprung here.
When my father died, fifteen years ago tonight, I didn’t cry. My mom and sister did. I didn’t cry at the funeral or for so many years when other tragedies came and went, and I had somehow lost that ability.
Then Katrina happened. And I cried for everybody who lived in New Orleans, for 9/11, for my mom, for my dad, and for this wonderful but flawed country that I have truly begun to only know well since I began blogging.
I bought into all the blue and red states myths before I began to blog. I was so provincial and so sure about false myths. In my heart I think I believed that I was a bit better than thou because I’m a New Yorker.
Don’t think that way anymore. And you all helped me relearn to cry. The empathy and support that I have found in people from across America and across the world amazes me.
When I went to see Light in the Piazza based on a book my mom and I had read when I was thirteen, on the Tuesday of the levees, I cried for every person stuck in New Orleans, I cried for my country for it become mine by then, and for a government none of us deserve to have.
Even my dad, neocon that he was would have hated our government for its gross failure to act. I’m not psychic though some people think that I am. If I knew, what was Condi Rice doing at Spamalot the next night–Wednesday–can’t stress that enough?
I know my dad would have hated Karl Rove for that horrible statement uttered last June about “liberals wanting therapy for terrorists…” He wasn’t talking about “liberals.” He made that statement in New York, home to the only civilian terrorist attack in history really, for a reason, a reason that wasn’t lost to me or to any person in this amazing though Disneyfied city.
What was it, a week later, that he was outed for Plamegate? Still during Katrina our President gave him more responsibilities not less.
I never cried for my father for many reasons. One was because I knew him so well that he lived on in my heart. Though the memories are beginning to be sepia tinged, they are still there. My father’s compassion was well known. When times were tough for his clients, he let them owe him, or he was paid in kind. I own an original oil painting that served as a cover for a romance novel; have the cover also.
When his poker game consisted of mostly artists and writers, and one was struggling, my father would insist that the pot be turned over to that person
My father was the chief American CPA for a very large Asian company. He began to realize that they weren’t always ethical, and wanted him to do things that skirted the law. Actually he showed me the documents as I was a paralegal manager then, and I translated from legalese to English.
They wanted him to shoulder all responsibility for much that happened in the American branches. They paid him very well, and he only was just beginning to suspect them of doing shady things. He walked. Wow did he walk. I was never so proud of him. He wouldn’t have gotten into trouble. The things weren’t clearly illegal or unethical, they just smelled wrong.
Can’t stand the smell, get out of the kitchen. In my father’s case that was all he could do.
But I know that as neo-con as he became about foreign issues, this government would have been too much for him. I know that my father would be proud that I have stood up and have been counted as somebody who in no way shape or form can ever be silent about this government.
Last night when I lit the candle, I cried as I have so often since Katrina. It gave me a headache but I felt better and stronger. My niece, my father’s granddaughter will grow up in a stronger better America. She will grow up in the America we all deserve, because in this past year some remarkable things have happened.
Blogging has brought things to the forefront, political bloggers have uncovered much wrong doing and bless them for that. Personal bloggers have found commonalities that we never knew could have existed before the advent of blogging.
Blogging has truly changed me and I thank each person who has helped me learn that it’s okay to express feelings and emotions.
Today is also the first anniversary of Terri Schiavo’s death, and I don’t know of a sadder one. I would still like to know how much the special Palm Sunday Joint Session of Congress cost, in total–with all or most members returning just for the day or weekend.
I do know my father’s views on living without a functioning brain, and I know that he would have been proud that I stood up when it counted. The governments very sick response to Terri’s death would have made him hate it if nothing else had.
Then there non-action on Katrina, the worst natural disaster ever to befall this great but so flawed country.
I am proud to have stood up. I am proud to be one of the founding members of BIO, the first liberal blog to give a voice to everybody. Steve, not our Steve O, can tell you how much we fought last year, and how much we have found in common. Though we will never be on the same side in some issues, we are both Americans who love our country, and want to see it be truly great again.
My father was all about politics, and a zillion other thing, but every night at the dinner table we did discuss the issues of the day. Our holiday dinners, and I think about Passover soon coming up, were filled with over 40 people all screaming at once. Some even made picket signs. I have always been convinced that my father thought Woody Allen’s Hannah and her sisters was about our family’s Thanksgivings.
My father was a contradictory person. When I was little I thought that there was one film star in the world, Charlie Chaplin, because my father took me to see all his blacklisted films at The Museum of Modern Art. It did leave me with a life long aversion to silent films–hey I was three–and weekly Charlie Chaplin films were just too much for me.
I quickly learned to understand that he was doing a great thing by taking me to see a man who was banished from America for having sex with Ona O’Neil who he did marry, and I do believe that they were happily married.
During the Impeachment hearings my mom and I thought of her husband, my father often, for he would have hated it. It would have embarrassed him out of his neocon mode. The cold war was over; now the war for America began.
We can’t let people with antiquated notions of good and evil win this one. I want my niece, my Goddaughter, Little Luce and all the kids I know and love, to know that I stood up when it counted.
Before I was born my parents went to every session of Alger Hiss’s trial–look him up, I’m too lazy. In later years their accounts differed, but I do remember the stories they both told me before I was old enough to understand, as they understood the importance of teaching children to love but to never blindly obey the government.
And yes with all my heart and more, I do support the troops. May they come home soon from this fiasco of a war.
May the memory of my parents make sure that I always do the right thing.
This is a personal blog. The First Amendment doesn’t apply here. I do delete comments. Want to fight me? Bring it on! to BIO, where we do have operators standing around waiting to take your call. No we don’t, but it’s a good line.
At BIO we began buying body armor for the troops months ago. We won’t let them wear defective government grudgingly issued armor. We want them home today, but as long as they’re in Iraq, let them be as safe as possible