For the past few weeks I’ve been biting my tongue. I’ve been so worried to get my hopes up and then go and jinx myself. With a nervousness running through me, I waited all day yesterday, until evening, to turn on the television to check in on the election results. Four years ago on this same night, I slept with my head at the foot of my bed so to be mere inches from the TV and be able to periodically turn it on to check status. When I woke up at seven the next morning, blurry-eyed, I thought it was a dream—a nightmare really. But, it was true, Dubya had won it again. And I cried.
I was wondering earlier, if we had to go through eight years with him to finally arrive at where we are today. I cried again last night, but this time they were tears of joy. It is a new day! It’s the beginning of something great; something not only our country, but the whole world has waited for for a long time. Last week I overheard someone say that whatever the outcome is, it wouldn’t really impact them anyway. I scowled to myself and thought “What?” This impacts everyone…even my seven-month-old niece.
Ironically, I was with my niece this election day and all of this afternoon I couldn’t look at her without thinking how because of the events of yesterday, she will live in a better world. And I thought what a lucky little girl she is—how lucky we all are to be living as witnesses to such a step for humankind. The face of Jesse Jackson in tears touched me, as did the face of Oprah, and the thought of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the faces of all of the black men and women who stand so proud for our first African American president. But it was amazing too, to see so many others who had tears in their eyes as well—white people, people in lands far from the United States of America, even Republicans(!), cheering for this day. So many have already been touched by the spirit of this good man who will lead us in the reawakening of the American Dream.
I’ve never cared so much about an election. I’ve never seen such enthusiasm and such support. I’ve never seen a rally like the one in Grant Park, that looked like Times’ Square on New Year’s Eve. I sat watching the television at eleven o’clock last night, and got texts from at least a dozen friends, sharing messages “We did it!”, “Incredible!”, “Truly Amazing!” And I was just on a bus home to New York City overhearing fellow passengers exuberant over the goings-on of the past twenty-four hours. I can’t wait to cheer with all of my friends in person, and crack open a bottle of champagne in honor of Barack. I want to thank him as he embarks on this journey to pave the road to the future where our children will know no boundaries that are born by the color of our skin; where they will know that anything is possible; where they will live and speak those famous words: “Yes We Can!”
Today my heart is full.