Monday, January 21, 2013

This Day 4 Years Ago

I'm awake! I'm awake! It's 10:30 am, and more often than not these days I'd either still be sleep or at least lying awake in bed. Baby girl is zapping my energy, pre-arrival. Even now as I write this, I'm feeling myself fade, but I'm forcing myself to keep my eyes open and not take a mid-morning catnap. So what makes me stay awake this day versus other days, you ask?

Well, as you know (or as I hope you know) today is not only Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, it is also the day of the 57th Presidential Inauguration. I learned very quickly last election to keep my politics private, so this has nothing to do with red vs. blue today. Today I celebrate America! and the blessing it is for me to have been born here and live in this imperfect but great and diverse nation. I think it is so awesome that the first black president of the United States is sharing this day with MLK, Jr., because President Obama definitely wouldn't be in this position without the work and sacrifice of Dr. King and so many others in the past! This is happening in my lifetime, and if my kids ever ask me what I did this day, I don't want my answer to be that I was sleeping it away!
Photo courtesy of Google Images
Anyways, I was attending Howard University when Obama was elected in 2008, and words simply do not describe the way campus felt those days. There was so much...electricity! a good way! It was so memorable and incredibly amazing. So when Inauguration Day rolled around in January 2009, you simply can't imagine what DC was like. It was PACKED and so diverse (more so than normal, which says a lot!) and there just seemed to be so much camaraderie between everyone (I think in the political realm they call that bipartisanship haha).

The Husband and I weren't officially dating yet (that would happen the next month!) but I remember that we spent Inauguration Day together this day 4 years ago. I cannot remember ever being as cold as I was that day. We were so bundled up and had those little hand warmers that you shake up and everything. Didn't make any difference though; we still felt like popsicles. We walked from campus through Chinatown and attempted to make our way to the Inaugural festivities. Apparently half the world had the same idea because the streets were overflowing. It was great though, because even though the weather was bitterly cold, spirits were so high and there was so much unity. I remember pausing for a moment and taking it all in: the many races and nationalities represented; old men and women struggling their way through with everyone else; young children just old enough to remember the event; American flags waving everywhere; people standing on top of trash cans and climbing up light poles for better views.... I remember pausing and taking in all that and more and tearing up because this, the first election/inauguration I was able to participate in, this was my America, and my America, for the very first time, was inaugurating an African-American man to the highest office of the United States. I had family members who were involved in civil rights, and to see the fruit of their work was overwhelming to me as a young black woman. No matter your or my political opinion, it would be tragic to take for granted the liberties afforded in this nation that simply would not be experienced in many places elsewhere in the world.

The then-almost-boyfriend-now-husband and I
sometime around Jan-Feb 2009!

As enthralling as the experience was, ya girl was freezing that day lol, so the Husband (then almost-boyfriend) and I ended up not being at the entire inauguration in person. We made our way back to campus and watched the rest on tv. Being out and about on campus and other parts of DC throughout that time was an unforgettable experience though.

This year, I'm tired, pregnant, and not as connected to politics and world events as I was back then. Some may say that's bad, but honestly I simply don't care that much. I hate all the bickering and division that I see among those who name the name of Christ because of a mere man; whether he's Democrat or Republican makes no difference to me. (Christ reigns supreme! Only what's done for Him will last.) So today, I will still experience this great little bit of history, this time at home on my couch with my unborn baby girl kicking away in my womb with my hope in God and not my government.

Today we experience democracy at work!
No matter your political views, don't take that blessing for granted.
What are you doing this 57th Inauguration Day 2013? Working? Out and about? Ever experienced your own little bit of history that you've never forgotten? I'd love to hear!!

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