Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Sentiments. Exactly.

I can be madder than a wet hen and cry my eyes out over tragedy. All in the scan of a minute. I'm a woman. I'm Southern. It comes honest.

Sometimes I get a little flack for it. When I express disappointment about something in the company of my peers (mostly women), I get the eye roll. When I express sadness with deep empathy, I get the eyebrow raise.

But, it's OK with me. Really. If it wasn't, well, there wouldn't be much I could do about it. When the frustration builds, the words fly. When the sadness overwhelms, the floodgates open.

I'm a woman. I'm Southern. It's just who I am.

So, tonight when I listened to the very last speech of President Bush, all the above emotions ran over me. Like water from the rain.

I listened as he reverently spoke of the tragedies of 9-11. Of evil and good. Of people who hate my country. And it makes me angry.

I heard him thank his staff, his wife, his family and the American people. He spoke of bravery and courage. Of defeat and victory.

As he closed his speech tonight, I realized these were his last words to the nation as President of The United States and I was overcome with sadness, nostalgia and gratitude. A gratitude that fills my heart and rises up in my throat.

Thank you, Mr. President.

My daughter rests quietly down the hall because of you. All because you chose to do what you felt was right in spite of opinion polls, in the face of adversity.

You took us to war (two of them) and, last time I checked, we were winning. (I don't pay attention to opinion polls either.)

People have died in the name of democracy and people are living free because of it.

You stood watch many nights while the nation slept peacefully, completely unaware of the possible threats to our freedom. Catastrophe was prevented. Evil was defeated.

We may never know how many times we could have been victims again. This is the benefit of liberty.

They say that history may paint a better portrait of you than the one that hangs in the halls today. I hope that is true.

But I have a feeling it won't really matter to you at all. You can rest quietly tonight because you did what you felt was right in spite of opinion polls, in the face of adversity.

For that, I am forever grateful.

God bless you. God Bless America.

16 comments:

Rachel Langston said...

I couldn't agree with you more! Thanks for such a well-articulated synopsis.
Rachel Langston

Kelly said...

Hi! I just found your blog. I 100% agree with you! I am really going to miss Bush.

smhgrace said...

Absolutely! I feel the same way. (And as a daughter of the South, too, I can totally relate to your reactions, as mine were similar!)I will miss President Bush, too!

fuzzytop said...

I absolutely agree.... Bush has been unfairly demonized, and we have much to thank him for.

Blessings,
Adrienne

Mama Lily said...

Beautiful post. Thank you

pcb said...

Amen, sister!

Susanne said...

Beautifully said, Melanie!

sprymary said...

How beautiful! I was unable to hear him speak, but after reading this, I feel I did. How about sending it to him?

sprymary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nancygrayce said...

Amen and Amen!

Lenore Buth at www.awomansview.typepad.com said...

You're absolutely right, Melanie, and you say it well. No matter what was going on these past eight years, I always felt President Bush was acting honorably and without malice. He can leave with his head held high--and I think he'll be missed in no time.

Love your blog! But thanks, I think I'll have my iced tea without sugar.

Lenore Buth

Hillary @ The Dunham Diaries said...

Amen, sister. Amen.

Kim said...

Now that my husband and I live in Ireland, I often find that I miss out on the day-to-day events in the US. I am fully aware of the inauguration, but hadn't given thought to Bush's farewell, until I read your post. So, I googled it...Like you, it brought tears to my eyes and stirred my emotions.

Thank you for this post.

Roxanne said...

Indeed, friend. Well said. And I fervently agree.

Super B's Mom said...

AMEN.

Beautiful post.

Just Terrific said...

Thanks for this post! I agree with everything you said. I didn't see/hear his speech, but really appreciate your reflection.

By the way......I LOVE your new blog facelift......very cool.