Just showing up

I have been on the verge of tears all day today. Like when I read about Wayne Floyd’s trip to the polls, just down the street from where I work:

Voting for the first time in a new neighborhood, I arrived at my polling place this morning at 6:30 a.m. to find a line down one side of the block and halfway up another. Just in front of me was an octogenarian African American matriarch, dressed to the nines, and proudly refusing all offers to move up in line or to sit down in someone’s folding chair.

I took my place in line at the same time as a twenty-something young man, who with the air of entitlement that only youth can fully muster, loudly complained: “How long ago did this line start, anyway?!”

“Honey,” the elder in front of me replied, “…This line began a looooong time ago … way, way, way before even your mama was born!” “Speak it, Sister” somebody further in front of us chimed in, in response to which the sage of Farragut Street added her parting shot to all who would listen: “You need to know that I can remember when we couldn’t even be in line to vote! So don’t you mouth off about the line being sooo looong! All you had to do was show up!”

I am so proud that I get to reap the benefits of so much hard work. All I had to do was show up. Thank you.

Photo by ericschoon.

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5 thoughts on “Just showing up

  1. I’ll always remember the line I heard on NPR the other day: “Rosa sat so Martin could walk. Martin walked so Barack could run. Barack is running so we can fly!”

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