On November 9th

I took a hot shower this morning. I was incredibly present. I intentionally felt each drop of water hit my body, camouflaging the tears streaming down my face. I surprised myself, because I realized I was mourning. The last time I felt this way was when my Grandmother, one of the most important people in my life, passed away almost five years ago. 

The pain is deep in my soul, aching in my heart, nearly indescribable. I am grieving.

Yesterday, I kissed my little Grey Victoria and told her it was our special day. Today, I held that same sweet baby as tightly as I could and apologized to her. I apologized that America had chosen the way they did and I apologized that I didn’t have any words or plans that would make me feel better. I apologized that, today, she would have a very sad Mama. 

I’ve understood that the country we live in is unjust, unfair, and that not all share the same opportunities. I learned that very young in the not-so-great mostly Mexican neighborhoods I grew up in. I more fully understood, in college, that the system is flawed and that the issues that plague our nation are deeply rooted on a foundation built on slavery and capitalism and greed. That we have never healed from the oppression and injustices of the past. 

But today I am surprised. I’m surprised because it wasn't the system, the government, that failed us. It was the people of this country. The system would have favored some one who is a part of that world, a part of politics. And though I had to grapple with the games that Hillary had to play, I fully supported her and knew we could keep her accountable. But the people of this country decided to leave their homes and support some one so full of hate, so divisive, so egregiously outspoken that our lives have felt like a TV drama for the last 16 months. I don’t blame those people, they know not what they’ve done, but it does leave me unsettled. 

Grief hits the body in waves. Hard at first, leaving you feeling like you just had the wind knocked out of you. Then slowly, cruising through your body like an IV drip. Then the numbness, the aftermath of confusion and frustration and blank stares.

I had to slow down this morning and ask myself what I was really worried about. What am I grieving?

I’m grieving that I couldn’t wake up this morning and cheer for a woman leading this nation. That the glass ceiling hadn’t been broken and that there is so much more work to be done. I’m grieving for the women that stood in line to spend a moment at Susan B. Anthony’s grave, wearing white and beaming with pride. 

I’m grieving for immigrants, for minorities, for the LGBT community and for my brown people. 

Mostly, I’m grieving the brief moment I had hope and pride in America and let my guard down. For a moment, I thought that we might not need to fight. That the struggle would continue but maybe without so much hate, with maybe a chance at progress. But this morning the fight has just begun as we walk into uncertainty. I let my guard down, for a moment, but this morning I have no choice but to be ready to fight again.  

Vanessa Kepp2 Comments