Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Letter To America

            To be honest, I have neglected my blog for a few weeks. I have been stymied by politics and have been writing other things, but today, I decided to get back at it. Here is my letter to America.

Dear America,
            What the hell has gone wrong? Are we splitting up? Seriously, I need to know.

            When we met, I was very young, well really young, a tiny babe in the woods, so to speak. And clearly . . . I know it . . . for many years I was too na├»ve to understand what I had with you. I didn’t fully grasp the concept that you were right by my side, supporting me, nurturing me, giving me what some might called a charmed life. I guess I didn’t appreciate the freedoms you had provided me and, yes, I didn’t tell you enough that I love you. But, really, something is going on that you haven’t been sharing, and that’s not fair.

 Look, I’ve let you down sometimes. I’ve made my mistakes, but so have you. Face it. It’s true. Not every decision you’ve made has been stellar. Yet, after all these years we’ve stuck together. In fact, hasn’t our life been changing recently for the better? I was under the impression that we had more respect for each other and haven’t we’ve been trying to clean up the space where we live? You know, folks do say that if life isn’t going so well, clean out your glove compartment and things will turn around. Well, we’ve been cleaning up shit. So, come on, be honest with me, America, what’s going on with you? Why have you suddenly turned inside out?

In the past you’ve been so good to me. I’ve been allowed to speak my mind, to choose my own friends, to live where I want, and to get an education. Hell, I have a damned Master’s Degree. It wasn’t easy, but I did it, because with you, America, I had the opportunity and you taught me that with perseverance, with hard work, I could do anything and be whoever I wanted to be.

I had a great career as an educator, thank you very much! Twenty-seven years. And when I retired I became a writer. Well, I always was a writer. I became an author. I’ve written four books. Yay, me!

Better than that, though, with your help America, I was able to raise two, wonderful sons. Sadly, you took one of them, the firefighter. Because of service to you, America, he died in our arms from job-related, brain cancer. The other continues to fight the good fight, doing his best, just as you taught him. As a law enforcement officer, he makes us proud.

Sorry for the digression . . . you know I get sidetracked sometimes . . . but right now, today, you need to understand my confusion about us. After so many years, with the good and the bad behind us, what, the hell, is going on? Can you explain? How did we get to this place?

I’m worried, America. I’m worried because I’m not sure you are who I thought you were. I thought you were caring and understanding; I thought you always would provide me with the opportunity for a good life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I thought you always would let me speak my mind. I thought respect for our fellow citizens, no matter what their former nationality or religion was, was at our core; I thought human rights always would be honored. I never thought women’s rights or the rights of the LGBT community would be threatened. I thought you would welcome hard-working immigrants who wanted nothing but a better life with us. I thought this is who we were.

Lately, though, America, I’ve been seeing a side of you that bothers me very much. What I’m seeing is a propensity for hate, fear mongering, rudeness, and lying, any one of which could undermine everything on which you have stood. I trust you, America, and I love you. We’ve been together for such a long, long time. Let’s not give up on us now. As an amazing woman named Hillary has said over and over, “We’re better together.” Don’t forget that America. Let’s reach for a new day and remember who we were way back at the start.