On this Day of All Souls, I am remembering four strong women who are no longer with us and honoring their spirits:
1. My grandma Margaret, who had to drop out of school to start work in her mid-teens because her brother got sick and her family had no money to pay the hospital bill. She suppressed her great sense of humor and feisty spirit while she was married to my serious grandfather. But when he died, she remarried and was incredibly happy. She raised six sons (one died as a toddler), all who in turn married strong women who all worked outside the home. (That's me she's holding!)
2. My friend Mary, who was one of the most spunky, opinionated, caring, and progressive women I’ve known. When our ELCA Lutheran church has discussed whether to move forward on a variety of initiatives (such as openly embracing the LGBT community many years ago), we could always count on Mary, one of the oldest members of the community, to say “Let’s do it! Why not?” (She's holding my son Kieran in this photo)
3. My friend Clara, who endured abuse and great hardship as a girl and young woman but became a creative, amazing teacher of all ages, and who inspired everyone she met.
4. My husband’s friend Serena, who was the fashion editor of the London Daily Telegraph, a prolific writer and traveler, and a STAUNCH democrat. She used to debate abortion rights with the conservative women in her retirement home. So sad that she died earlier this year and did not get to cast her vote for Hillary.
I'm voting against Trump because as a victim of sexual assault, I'm truly horrified that someone who despises and disrespects women as much as he does could become our president. And as a Christian who embraces diversity and people of all cultures, I'm equally horrified that he's actively supported by white supremacists (and has not rejected their support!) and spews hatred at Muslims, African-Americans, the disabled, Mexicans, veterans, LGBTQ folks, you name it, every day.
But even more important, I'm voting FOR Hillary because she is a feminist, has always fought for the welfare of women and children, is the most qualified candidate we’ve ever had, has proven her ability to work with others, does not hold a grudge (joining President Obama’s cabinet after losing the candidacy), and gets shit done. As Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did backwards in high heels, Hillary has endured more vitriol and scrutiny than any other candidate in history because of sexism, but she’s still standing. We’ve got her back. The Pantsuit Squad will help her rise up!