Monday, February 18, 2008

Geeky Died Today

I knew last night would be my last with my dog Geeky. Since he lost the ability to walk a couple of days ago, I had to pick him up off his dog bed and was surprised again at how light he had become. Down from his prime of sixty pounds to a feathery forty. He didn't struggle as I carried him across the room to my bed. I placed him in his space on his side of the bed, put a puppy training pad under him so his leaking bladder didn't soak into the bedding, and to keep him as dry as possible, and we went to bed for the last time together. A friend called this morning and woke us up. She called to ask if Geeky survived the night, and at the sound of his name being said by me to someone else, he lifted his head, looked at me and wagged his tail. And in that moment I knew I had to call the House Call Vet to let Geeky go. When I got off the phone I started sobbing. I got up, walked around the bed and took Geeky in my arms for the last time and carried him back to his bed. I nuzzled his face with mine. He tried to lick me on the cheek and wagged his tail again. Most of the day he slept with the sun shining on him from the solarium. A friend of mine from New York is in town dealing with a family death and called to ask if she could come visit me to take a break from the family drama of death in her life and to be with me during my little drama; letting go of Geeky. She was here when the Vet came. I held Geeky's head in my lap and stroked his face and neck while his Vet gave him a tranquillizer shot to relax him. And when the shot began to relax him he looked up at me again, then let go and drifted off. My young friend helped the Vet carry Geeky's body to his van to take Geeky to be cremated. It's always strange to me that in death our weight seems so heavy. It was only three months ago that my twenty year old cat, Rianna died. I will be very alone tonight. Geeky, I miss you already. Thanks dear for sharing your life with me.

A Letter to Howard Dean

Dear Howard Dean,
I was a supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton until the evening of the South Carolina Democratic Primary. I am Senator Clinton's demographic. I am female, a feminist, over sixty, disabled and living on Social Security Disability, and very dependent on Medicare, and Medicare part D—the prescription drug plan. I am poor. I have many years of college credits but no degree. I’m a life-long Democrat and have voted in every election. I’m an activist. I have always volunteered for the Presidential candidate of my choice. I am very fond of the Clintons. And so, going into the South Carolina Primary I was rooting for her. But several things happened that night that changed my mind. The first was the stunningly beautiful speech given by Senator Barack Obama. I sat in my bed and watched that speech with tears streaming down my face. I have never heard a more inspiring speech given by any politician in my lifetime. The next was the demographic breakdown of the vote in South Carolina. I expected the African American vote to go his way, that was no surprise. But the broad support he got from every demographic was stunning. But most importantly, it was the high turnout of young people who really changed my mind. For the first time since the 1960’s, when I came of age, young people are getting involved in electoral politics. And this fact alone is reason enough to support Barack Obama. These young people are our future. It will be their country, their government to run. The problems that have been created by the Bush Administration will be theirs to solve, theirs to pay for. It has worried me for thirty years or more that young people have grown disinterested and disaffected by politics. They have not been voting, and that is very bad news for America. So to see this candidate inspire and energize young voters is very good news for the Democratic Party, but most importantly it is very good news for America.

And then, after the South Carolina Primary, Senator Clinton did not stay and thank her supporters, the hard working people who went door to door, made phone calls on her behalf, the voters who volunteered for her. She did not give a nice concession speech congratulating her opponent. Instead she moved on to Tennessee and gave a pretty mundane stump speech. Yes, in a pretty off hand way, she did congratulate Senator Obama, but it was a couple of sentences in a stump speech. I though it was rude to all concerned, and made her look petty and like a bad sport. Since that night I have been a volunteer for Senator Obama. I wrote a letter to the Editor of my local paper. I made phone calls for Senator Obama. And despite that fact that amy contribution of money creates a choice of what I have to give up (medicine, food, delaying further the payment of property taxes) I sent Senator Obama a very small contribution.

I live in a state where my vote in the General Election has never counted. Utah is the reddest of red states. Mormons are Republicans. They do what they are told. Mitt Romney won 85% of the Republican Primary vote here. And not all the Republicans who live in Utah are Mormon. So I’m well aware that a plea for Party unity from an old woman in Utah probably won’t mean a lot to you. We Democrats in Utah are pretty much ignored by everybody. But I make this plea to you not as a resident of Utah, but as a citizen of The United States. Please understand that if this Primary election is brokered by Super Delegates and the actual popular vote, the real delegate count is not honored, you will kill the hopes and discourage the activism of millions of young people. This would be a catastrophe for the Democratic Party and for America.

There is something that Senator Clinton could do to make her a hero to these young voters, and would elevate her to a status as States-person extraordinaire. If she could step aside as a candidate, and throw all her mighty intellect and political power behind Barack Obama, nothing could stop us from regaining the White House, and we could govern with a unified Party and without the divisiveness we experienced during the Clinton years. Senator Clinton would be a great Secretary of Health and Human Services. Former President Clinton would be a great roving Ambassador for peace and good will around the world. Former Vice President Al Gore would be the perfect person to tackle the challenges we face in changing our economy from a petroleum based economy to a green economy. And John Edwards would be my choice to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Please try to appeal to Senator Clinton to make this sacrifice of personal political ambition for the good of her Nation. We need her. She has the brains and experience to help us regain our reputation as a great Nation again, but this is not her time to be President. Her time is past. We Boomers need to move over, and give our advise and assistance to the next generation of leaders.

I thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I would appreciate it if you would forward this letter to Senator Clinton.