Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Senator's Nana

Anyone who visits here regularly knows how much my Nana meant to me, still means to me. One of my pet peeves about society today is how we treat older citizens as though they were disposable rather than with the honor and respect they deserve – well most of them deserve.

I was sorry to read this morning that Senator Obama’s Grandmother is gravely ill. Just days before her 86th birthday.
I wish her well. She has much to be proud of and I fervently hope she is here with us to see her Grandson become President of the United States.

I have often heard Senator Obama’s life described as a “compelling story” and I suppose that’s true but for me it’s more than a “story”.

The Senator is far closer to my age than he is to my son’s age but I often look at him through the experiences of my son. Being multi-racial is never an easy road. I wish I could say it was easier today than it was 40+ years ago for Barack or 30+ years ago for my son but sadly the events that have unfolded over the course of this election make me realize how far we have NOT come and how capable we are of traveling backwards at warp speed.

Still there is always hope. Hope that the best of us rises to the occasion while the least of us goes away to sulk in a corner.

My son and I understand that family comes in all colors - and shapes and sizes. They worship differently. They love who they love. We honor that in all people as we expect it to be honored in us.

Here is another photo of the Senator with his Grandmother

Nana is all we need to know ...


Bond said...

It would be so sad if she could not see this incredible 'story' come to fruition and be there in January as her grandson takes the oath of office.

Best wishes to her for a strong recovery

Linda Reeder said...

This is a lovely piece you have written.
I, too, though that Barack's "Toot" might not make it until election day, and what a shame that would be. But she already knows she did her job well.

bobbie said...

That's a lovely photo of them, Dianne. We all wish here well.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Fabulous post, Dianne!

the teach said...

Dianne, what a wonderful post! I have a 3 year old biracial grand nephew and I hope he'll find a better, more loving America when he grows up. I'm sure he will if we get more people in office like Obama... :)

Dianne said...

bond - we both know what it feels like to mark milestones in our child's life - imagine that feeling if your child becomes President :)

linda - she does know that :)
thank you.

bobbie - they look sweet together don't they :)

your eg - thank you :)

teach - you got that right and Barack is a grand place to start :)

Queen-Size funny bone said...

I hope she gets well enough to see her grandbaby make a difference.

Dr.John said...

Times are changing. The very fact that Obama will probably be the next President says that the racial evils of the past are passing away.
This isn't to say there aren't any confused people left but little by little we are learning to see each person as special.

Carletta said...

Wonderful post Dianne.

Askew To You said...

I enjoyed this post. My Grandma is very important to me, as well.

CrystalChick said...

I'm holding on to hope for many things.
Sorry to hear of Barack's Nana being so sick. She certainly does have much to be proud of!!

Jeni said...

You know, this is really so sad to think he has come this far, she has survived this long too and just hope she lives to see him in the White House. However, what really bites about this story is that so many in the media are apparently now criticizing him for going to his grandmother's bedside, to be there with her when she needs his presence most -just as she no doubt did for him as he was growing up. And you can bet your bottom dollar though if he hadn't done that, those same media people would be carping at him and accusing him of being hard-boiled, cold, callous -etc., for NOT going to be with her. No win situation for him in this respect.
Just wish some individuals and groups would recognize him for the man he is, for his character, ideals, tenets, ya know.

pink dogwood said...

I wish his nana well and hope that she is all better and there for the inaugural ceremony. What a great piece you wrote Dianne - thanks for sharing such wonderful thoughts.

tt said...

No truer words have ever been spoken. I do so hope she is around to enjoy the moment her grandson makes history come alive when he becomes our President. What a glorious day that will be for us all.

Mrs. C said...

Well, hope she's around long enough to comfort her grandson when he loses the election. :p

Seriously, I wish them no ill personally... but that doesn't mean I want the guy to be President. I'm glad he recognizes that his grandmother has value in her old age. Hopefully in time he will realize his grandchildren do, too, from the moment of conception.

I hadn't heard of any criticism for his going to see his grandmother, but as Jeni said, sometimes you can't win with the press. (goes for both 'sides'... sometimes the wolves just eat whatever's out there...) Maybe I won't bother to read the news tonight because that's not something I want to hear. I mean, I can cut my toenails instead and figure I've spent my time better.

And bless you, Dianna. I appreciate the sentiment that life has value... I'm sure you've been around long enough to read some of the same doozie comments I have on other blogs and you wonder... can people not speak a word of kindness every now and then? It wouldn't hurt much, ya know.

Rambling Woods said...

I saw a photo and short video clip of his grandmother on the news. It was very touching

Ron said...

Oh, Dianne...this post is timed so appropriately, because just TODAY I was thinking the SAME THING about senior citizens!!!

I was walking through the park, on the way home from the grocery store, and saw a very frail little elderly lady with her walker. It broke my heart, because she was heavily arthritic and walked in so much pain.

I always worry about these people and hope they're being taken care of.

It's so TRUE what you shared about how this society treats the elderly. It makes me very angry.

In Japan (where I lived for 2 months) they hold the elderly in very HIGH regard and god forbid you don't treat them with the utmost respect! And this is the way it should be EVERYWHERE!

Thank you for this post, Dianne. It really touched me!

*Sending much "good energy" to Nana Obama!

kenju said...

N ice post, Dianne. I hope she is around in January.

Travis said...

Well said.

Dianne said...

queen size funny bone - I have the same wish :)

dr. john - "seeing each person as special" - a lovely way to put it :)

carletta - thank you!

askew - Grandma's are wonderful :)
I'm looking forward to be a wild one myself one day ;)

crystalchick - me too lady, me too.

jeni - the 24 hour news cycle is sucking the life out of this country and just as being negative and nasty has come to bite McCain on the ass I think that eventually there will be a backlash against the media.

pink - thank you :)

tt - I am as proud of him as I could possibly be of anyone I've never met LOL
he touches my heart.

mrs c - kindness goes far doesn't it especially towards those who are weaker or need a little hand up - older, sick, children, abandoned animals, whatever ... so many places to take the time to care.
I know you don't wish them ill and I understand you don't want him as President. I think that he personally does have respect for the life of his future grandchildren but also believes, as I do, that he does not have the right to control a woman's body. One of my biggest issues with "right to life" groups is that they sure do lose interest in that child's life once they're born. Makes them hard to accept as anything other as political machines trying to shove their beliefs down everyone's throat.

rambling - I need to see if I can find that clip, thanks

ron - we have the same heart don't we. I volunteer at the local senior housing development. I'm crossing guard twice a week. the bldg is across a very busy street from where they do their shopping and of course idiots can't slow down so the folks were afraid to go shopping. the grocery organized volunteers. my folks love when I'm on duty because I "go all Brooklyn" on the reckless drivers LOL
one little lady is always asking me "are you going to let loose with a F bomb? I hope so"
Karma Ron, what you put out comes back but of course you know that :)

kenju -thanks :)

travis - I appreciate that :)

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope she lives to see his success.
I didn't realise there were still people who called grandparents Nana and Papa. My own children called their grandfather Dadcu - pronounced dad key or d'key - it's Welsh. Goodness knows what ours will call us - Gran and Gramps maybe.

anna said...

The cycle of life. We pass on the best of our selves and allow it to take root. I am glad that Barack and his beloved Nana will be spending time together.

CG said...

A very thought-provoking post. I hope Nana gets better. I work with a lot of older people and on the whole I treasure them. I'm trying to bring my kids up the same way. I also try very hard to bring them up to despise racism, homophobia, bigotry of all kinds. We have come so far but we still have a long way to go!

Mrs. C said...

Ah! Got what you mean, Dianne. I guess I see those as two different issues.

ONE is don't murder, and the OTHER is to have compassion on the poor. Both are important, though I am not sure that the compassion part can be mandated. I think the needs are so great that a lot of the giving of concerned people (regardless of political persuasion) is almost invisible.

And I think it's important to think about what the role of government is in that context. I myself have three autistic sons, so I know the tiny local church isn't going to be taking care of them as adults (ha!) and I won't be around forever. What's the solution? I don't know. There might not be one :]

Actually, I don't know if it's because of your post or not, but I dreamed about Barack Obama last night taking all my candy away. It was butterscotch and I woke up pretty annoyed at him. I'm afraid I will have to add "stealing all my candy" to the list of reasons I won't vote for him. Hey, we all have to have convictions you know.


Dianne said...

aileni - Nana and PopPop are very popular in Brooklyn. they were when I was a kid and they still are :)

anna - a lovely way to put it and yes, I'm sure having him and I assume his girls will be wonderful for her :)

mrs c - I have a disabled cousin and her Mom is getting older and not doing well physically. There is much stress thru-out the family on how to best plan for my cousin's future. And there is little help.
thankfully if we all pool our resources we will be able to do something but so many families don't have that blessing.
I agree that you can't mandate caring but I absolutely believe you can empower it. My work at the VFW is a good example. Driving the guys around was becoming a problem because of how expensive gas is. It was costing me an extra $50 a week. The VA actually had a program to help offset that cost!! If not for me volunteering they would have to wait for the SCAT bus which never comes on time and only makes pre-scheduled stops. And it costs a fortune for the township to maintain. So - with just a little help a lot are helped.
I think a leader like Barack sees that and can better make things like that happen since he knows we exist.
He stole your candy!!! Maybe he only took a little of it to share with people who had no candy at all? Let me know if you wanna dream about somebody sexy I'll do a post on them :)
Hugs to all Mrs C - and I'd share my candy with you anytime.

Raven said...

Lovely post. Barack's Nana certainly can be proud of the man she helped to raise and I too hope she lives too see him take the oath of office.

Shelly said...

You're cracking me up. The comment to Mrs C about B taking her candy to share...lolol.
If everyone invited two widows or widowers into their home on special occasions just think how many great stories would get passed along. I say we start a blogger-challenge.

Debo Blue said...

I never knew either of my grandmothers but I was certainly a "Big Daddy's baby" so I know the fear and concern Barack's feeling right now.

Great post Dianne, thank you.

Daryl said...

Is his other grandmother, his dad's mother, still alive? I hope so. I am not religious but I hope very hard that his dear 'Toot' is alive and alert to see her grandson become President ....


Kay said...

What a great post... and a great message... I too live in hope that the divides of our society will simmer down and eventually go away.

And I too will think positive thoughts for O's "nana"

And I will call my grandmother tonight after work :)

Dianne said...

raven - she must have such sense of wonder at all he's done to this point.

shelly - I crack myself up at times too ;)
I already have my VFW guys and when my leg is better I'll go back to my cross the seniors duties at the development. I would happily write something about them on a regular basis.

debo - you're welcome. I remember seeing a photo of your Dad - he had a smile that lit up everything around him.

daryl - the pic at the bottom of my post was taken in 2006 and she was alive and well. I also remember seeing a photo of her holding up a headline saying that Barack was running

kay - how cool that you're going to call your grandmother tonight. that's wonderful. shelly up above was talking about us writing about the elders in our lives. maybe you could post something about your conversation.

Bear Naked said...

I have put Senator Obama's Grandmother on my prayer list so that she can still be with him in January at his inaugaral.

On another note:
Dianne--guess which bear is going to be on my blog on Thursday?
I think many of my blogging buddies will get a chuckle out of this one.
"See" you on Thursday.

Bear((( )))

Tammy said...

What a sweet and caring post for his nana. I lost all my grandparents when I was young.

fermicat said...

I hope she lives to see him elected.

Dianne said...

bear - I've said this before - you're a good soul :)
I have a few guesses about tomorrow, can't wait

tammy - thank you. all my grandparents were gone before I was born except for Nana.

fermicat - me too!

Sparkling Red said...

I agree it's a shame that our society generally does not respect our elders. They have so much wisdom to offer... but wisdom is not highly valued these days.

By the way, I meant to respond to a question you asked about whether or not I encounter much potential for violence in my workplace, but then got atrociously busy. Short answer: yes, boy howdy! Long answer: I'm mulling over a post on the topic. Thanks for asking. :-)

Dianne said...

sparkling - you're certainly right about wisdom not being valued, in fact I think stupidity is actually respected and sought after!!
thanks for the short answer - I'll look forward to the post :)

Mad Hatter said...

Hi, new here, this is a great post, something different that all the election coverage about Obama, Im from a bi-racial family (thai/black) and it can be difficult. I pray that his grandmother get well. Nice Post

Dianne said...

mad hatter - welcome! :)
glad you liked the post, I prefer the human side of things over the politics.

Reb said...

Lovely post Dianne. I hope his Nana make it through to January too.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Indeed, I hope and pray that Obamas Grandma's health improves and that she will be here to see him inaugurated....!

Your post is a very important one. And you are so right that so much has still NOT changed, for mixed race children and for all people of color....In some ways it is deeply shocking. But I must say, that we have come far enough to have Barack Obama be the Democratic candidate and HOPEFULLY President----well, it says a lot when you think that 45 years ago Dogs and Hoses (Among other atricities) were turned on people in Alabama for attempting to March from Selma to Montgomery for their Constitutional Rights.

So many people think that prejudice is over or they
don't even believe it exists anymore.
I just pray that the overt and underlying racism that still exists in our country does not rear it's ugly head when people get into that Voting Booth.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

"atrocities"....my finger slipped on to the "I" in my post! Bad Finger....!

RiverPoet said...

I love that he's so dedicated to his family and that they were so dedicated to him. It's like a textbook story of how to grow a great man.

One of my best friends has three bi-racial children, and I saw how much of a struggle she and they had for awhile. It seems to be better now, but there is still a bit of a stigma that lingers just under the surface.

Like John Mayer said, "I'm waiting on the world to change."

Peace - D

Real Live Lesbian said...

I love that pic of the two of them. Love is just overflowing in their smiles!

Dianne said...

reb - thank you - I really appreciate that :)

oldold lady of the hills - my ex-husband used to say he prefered the racism of his Southern home - at least you knew where you stood and who to watch. In the North he found the "underlying" racism far more insidious. And it is that underlying tone that is tainting this election and hurting this country.
thanks lady - you and your bad finger :)

riverpoet - I'm waiting right along with you. I have seen my son's struggle renewed when he married into an exceptionally closed and bigoted family. Which of course worries me for my future grandchildren.
Not to mention what I have seen during this campaign.

RLL - it is a lovely shot. Thanks :)