Life & Love

Letter to My Descendants – Gloria Reading

Letter to My Descendants

Gloria Reading
Week 2  …. 2/3 submissions

Today I write to my grandchildren, great-grandchildren and forward into the mist of generations yet unborn.  I write to my descendants in whose blood my genes have helped determine the color of their eyes and the shape of their noses.  They don’t know me, but I am part of them.  They will never know me, nevertheless, I love them

Dear Descendants of Mine:

It is January 2021, and I am worried.  In recent months, my worry has accompanied me every minute of every day on some subliminal level of which I am only peripherally aware.

It is for you that I worry.  

I am writing on my laptop.  In my garage is my gasoline-powered automobile.  My home is warmed by electricity. Floor to ceiling windows line the walls revealing a quiet, peaceful, snowy winter day.  I am safe.

But outside my sheltered bubble, my country is neither quiet nor peaceful.

America is in transition.  A cacophony of powerful voices is pulling citizens in conflicting directions.  Friendships (one of mine included) are being sacrificed at the altar of political platforms.  Television stations and Internet sites are broadcasting images of unimaginable rage, fury, and violence.  While some Americans from all political positions are involved in those conflicts, most Americans are horrified.

I wonder … worry …  sometimes obsess … over the America into which you were born.  Are growing up in.  Growing old in.

Beyond voting, I’ve never been interested in politics. Yet today I find myself interested.  Frightened.  Worried.  And curious.

I pray that you, my beloved grandchildren and yet unborn great-grandchildren, are safe.  That you are living your lives freely.  Fulfilling your ambitions.  Developing your talents.  I pray that America has remained strong and resilient.  I pray that, both within and without, you are at peace.

I feel confident that your history books describe a 2020 presidential election that was permeated with bad manners, cruel rhetoric, and an absence of dignity, decency, and grace.  The media were complicit.  Participants from both parties were complicit.  Portions of the American public of all political stripes were complicit.   There were no heroes.

Yet, although I’m no one special, I felt compelled to contribute something positive to this election, so I volunteered as an election judge in my precinct.  That experience inspired me to write.  I couldn’t “not” offer a written record of my experience.   So I wrote:

I was an election judge in my precinct.  It was a long day.  However, now that I have slept, I am realizing that it was one of the most meaningful days of my life.  I was the person inserting the ballots into the tabulator meaning I got to chat (my favorite thing to do) with a parade of voters.

I have no idea what happened nationwide in the election yesterday because I just woke up and haven’t looked.  Before I compromise the euphoria I now feel, before it is spoiled by the cantankerous dialogue of this election season, I want to document what this contentious election ended up meaning to me.

 I was HONORED to exchange celebration with so many young people who were voting for the first time. 

I was THRILLED to file the vote of a young Middle Eastern mom who was there with her entire family casting her first vote in her new country.  I asked her how it felt.  I wish you could have seen her smile.  “Good” she said!

I was INSPIRED by another young voter who spontaneously began telling me a bit of his story  — how he had quit high school a few years before and was now working on his GED on his own, through the Internet and You Tube lessons.  I’m still in awe of his commitment and discipline.

I was HUMBLED by a lady who came to vote alone because her husband had a stroke and then a fall.  She cried as we talked.  I’ve walked that road.  My heart still hurts for her.

Across from me, I watched my fellow judges register new voters over and over.  People of various ages who had come to exercise their sacred right of the vote.

Strangers.  Neighbors.  Acquaintances.  Few passed my workspace without some level of personal exchange.  I was stunned by the several times that exchange was trusting.  Vulnerable.

Many said thank you for doing this job.

Hour after hour — a steady stream of Americans — more than 200 in-person voters – all touched me at “the heart level” forever.

At the end of the night, I was exhausted.  Was there at 5AM.  Got home at 9PM.  It was a long day.   All of my fellow judges (3 precincts total) worked together harmoniously, counted ballots meticulously, and followed the process with ABSOLUTE integrity.

I hope you voted.  If you didn’t, I hope you vote next time.  And sign up to be an election judge.  The experience has the potential to bless you.  God bless America.

This is the America I know.  The America for which countless souls have laid down their lives to create, sustain, and protect.  I pray that this is the America in which you live.  One in which you can vote your mind without fear.  One in which you are free to worship God freely.  An America in which you can pursue your talents and ambitions.  An America in which you can grow and thrive, love and laugh, work and travel freely.  And an America in which you can freely support and vote for the candidate of your choice in peace.

We are not a perfect country, but we are a good country, comprised of good people.   And, although I am just a meaningless name on your genealogy chart, I pray you are saluting a flag that represents “the home of the brave and the land of the free.”  God Bless America.

GrandGloria (GG)

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