Let me pass along a gentle reminder to you all to vote, please. And here's a story some of you already know:
Election Day, 2004, I stood beside my father's bed in ICU. He would pass away two days later.
A month earlier, before he was hospitalized, he had called me with a question about his absentee ballot and we had a discussion about the candidates. I tried my best to deter him from voting for George Bush. He wouldn't budge.....an air force veteran who didn't believe you changed course while engaged in a war. My argument that we needed to not be at war and that would mean having to change course didn't change his mind.
The doctors were trying to determine his competency. I was to ask him if he knew what day it was, etc. He did. I asked if he remembered it was Election Day and he nodded his head.
"Do you remember that you voted for George W. Bush?" I asked. Again, he nodded. We had always engaged in spirited conversations about politics -- sometimes on the same page, but more lately, not so much.
"Don't worry, Dad," I said. "I voted for Kerry so your vote won't count."
And he flipped me off. My father, raised his middle finger, being sure to hold it high enough for me to see. It brought tears to my eyes.
The doctor standing by apologized for him, telling me that people as ill as he was often said weird things or did something they'd never do normally. He was aghast! And me? I was crying tears of joy for this told me more than anything else could have that he was more than competent.
This turned out to be the last "conversation" I had with him. It's one that still makes me tear up when I tell it, but it is also a gift from the man who raised me, who taught me to stand up for what I believe, who told me again and again that my opinions mattered, who urged me to always speak my mind.
I sure miss him today. How he would have loved this election! And I honestly believe that for this election, our votes would not have offset one another. My vote will count.
So will yours. Vote.