It is not easy to write with my little dogs in my lap. Happydog is in one of his soft-sided beds, and leaning heavily against my left hip. Peanut is between my pajama-clad knees, missing her Mommy, who has left for school. Jessie, our big dog is lying on his bed in the living room, simply waiting for my husband to come home. And if he waits patiently at the top of the stairs, perhaps Morgan will come home, too.
Morgan's passing has been hard on the other dogs. There is no way to explain to them. There is no way they can understand. We can only hope that our daughter's new puppy, which she will be choosing this week-end, will give our grieving dogs a reason to celebrate life. You see, I have discovered that dogs live on hope, and for me, that is one of their biggest appeals. They lean against me; they depend on me for reassurance; and they need my comfort. They watch, they wait, and they live on hope.
An example of my hope concerns the American election, most particularly, the Presidential election, especially the current one. For the uninitiated or my friends in other countries, here are the choices for American voters:
First, there are the Republicans. They break down into 3 main groups: (a) fiscal conservatives (big business will get the money, and it will trickle down to you, if you are lucky); (b) moral conservatives, (always against abortion and for traditional marriage); (c) and moderates (a little of this, and a little of that).
Second, there are the Democrats. They also break down into groups: (a) an extreme liberal (your money is everyone's money, and let us spend it on a lot of programs); and moderates (let's discuss this and see if it will work; then let’s do something about it). The difference between these two groups is thus: a true liberal has a lot of high ideals; while a moderate has a plan. In other words, the liberal is like Miss America. He or she is for world peace; whereas the moderate Democrat has a concrete plan to bring about peace, as well as championing the American people.
I must confess that I am more of an independent, having voted for both parties; but I also believe in action. For instance, my view changed dramatically at my government's inaction after Katrina. Watching for five helpless days, as the old, the very young, and the very poor suffered and died, hurt my heart more than I can express. I was disgusted, and I can honestly say that those images will be reflected in my choice for President.
Equally important is my consideration, not only for who cares, but for who will act in a time of crisis, quite frankly, the way I would. I honestly don’t care about sitting across from a candidate and sharing a cup of coffee. I have a family that I would rather be with. I doubt that most Americans care about whom they would like for a buddy. After all, not all men like Spike TV; nor are all women glued to Lifetime’s sappy movies. Where do the media get these ideas?
I also have two daughters, and I remember the harassment that I suffered in the work place. I want a different work place for them. My daughters are brilliant and talented, and they have both chosen non-traditional career fields. Who will speak for them? Who will act to make certain that they receive equal pay? Who will make certain that their voices are heard and respected?
My husband is a retired Navy veteran. He works very hard in his new career. As a veteran, who will speak for him? Trust me; our present government has a reprehensible record. I want to see some action. I don't want elegant words. I want someone who cares, and I want someone who knows how to translate that caring into deeds. I also do not want a hundred years war. I want a better world for my children and my neighbor's children. I want our food supply to be safe. Frankly, I'd like a salad that doesn't send me to the emergency room. I want our environment protected. And what about my Social Security? Who's going to take that away? When did we become a country where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? God, please be merciful to all of us!
There are many things I hope for, as I prepare to vote on February 12th, and like my dogs, I live in hope. I hope that God does not give us the President we deserve. I hope He gives us the President we need.
All these things are on my heart this day. I'm going to vote on Tuesday, and I hope my vote counts for something. I'm waiting and praying. I'm waiting on the American people to make their choices. I pray that they will choose wisely, as I hope that I do. So, I live on hope, too; not only in this world, but also for the world to come. I hope that I honor God, as I vote. I hope that God will bless us, as we wait for Jesus to come to bring us home.
Father, please guide us; protect us; and forgive us for all the times that we have forgotten you.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008