When I think of the civil liberties that you and your family gave up to serve our country, I am indeed overwhelmed, and absolutely indebted; this all too brief thank you goes not only to you but to Michelle and Sasha and Malia too. Instead of summer holidays going from cheap motel to public beach, you, along with secret service, were in the spotlight; or in place of date night down at the local theater you were navigating normalcy with all of us peering into your dining room window. We Americans were indeed the lucky ones in this eight year scenario.
From the heartbreaking days after the Sandy Hook elementary school murders to making the Affordable Care Act a reality, all your words and actions have come from your exceptional sense of decency and compassion. This wasn’t due to your gifted intelligence or extraordinary work ethic, (although we also benefited from these gifts), but your very core, that impeccable essence, clearly learned behavior from strong family pillars and your own humanitarian truths. Thank you for leading us with head and heart. And for bringing the gospel along too. Who will forget both your brilliant oration and your moving rendition of Amazing Grace sung in the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. after a senseless mass shooting? Not me. Not millions.
Michelle needs thanks all of her own. Her role modeling on healthy eating and physical activity forged real progress with Let’s Move. School cafeterias around the country were compelled to provide nutritional meals for our youth, and increased exercise has invigorated this generation. Michelle’s work with Veterans and their families is yet another visible contribution to our populace. Her causes, coupled with your own, have only been to support those who need such support. There was nothing personal to gain from these causes. No political wins or monetary benefits, but hopefully accolades from all of us who bear witness to your live legacy.
In analysis of your recent Farewell Address, there was much discussion on your use of the word Democracy. Apparently you used it noticeably more than your predecessors. Although anyone who has followed your public record would find plenty to underline your respect for democracy, I am wondering if it was a battle cry. A warning, “that [in a democracy] we rise or fall as one.” A plea to those who will soon inhabit the oval office to remember all that a true and vibrant democracy must embody. God knows they need reminding.
We, who listened to your final speech, will try our darndest to live up to your pledge: “I am asking you to hold fast to that faith written into our founding documents; that idea whispered by slaves and abolitionists; that spirit sung by immigrants and homesteaders and those who marched for justice; that creed reaffirmed by those who planted flags from foreign battlefields to the surface of the moon; a creed at the core of every American whose story is not yet written: Yes, we can.” Yes, we can, with people such as yourself on our horizon. Enjoy your dear ones. Enjoy your freedom. But don’t go too far dear Barack.
All love, and much thanks.