A changing of the guard…..in more ways than one…
January 21, 2009

It was fascinating watching the presidential changeover yesterday…George and Laura Bush, going through the motions of leaving Washington behind as President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle moved in(and may I just say how gorgeous Mrs. Obama looked yesterday?). I would guess there is relief, dread, uncertainty about the future and what life will be like…some regret, on both sides. You’d love to know what’s going through all their minds. But it reminded me of another changing of the guard that I will take part in this weekend.

Tomorrow I fly to Birmingham, to help my sisters move my Mom into assisted living, at the retirement community where she has lived for some years. She has been pretty independent, though just barely  able to live on her own for some time. A hospital stay just after the holidays really knocked the props out from under her, as she would say, and it was clear that returning to her apartment, where she struggled to do even the simplest of tasks, while possible, was certainly not wise.
So this weekend, we will move her from the nursing home where she has been getting “rehabilitation”…I use that word loosely…her care has not been the greatest and she has been up in arms, more than once over something that was said to her or how she was treated. Being sharp of mind, nothing escaped her and she cannot wait to leave tomorrow.

And I hope she will be happy in her new place….but no place is perfect. Learned that a long time ago.  We’ll be going through loads of stuff…she has more clothes than any 88 year old woman has a right to…she has always been and still is, very interested in how she looks(the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree), but with a much smaller closet, some of it has to go. And furniture…storage? Giveaway to grandchildren? Goodwill? Trash? Some of each, I’m sure. Pictures? No need for all the kitchen stuff. The further downsizing of a life that has already been downsized from a lovely 3 bedroom house, to a 2 bedroom apartment, to a one bedroom apartment, to now…a one room apartment. She has lost many possessions and a beloved husband along the way.

But she doesn’t seem to mind moving , and in fact is looking forward, I think, to being in a place that is smaller, where she will have more help, but things have to be done on their schedule, not hers. You know how it is.  So as I wish the best of luck to George and Laura Bush on their new life ahead, and to the Obama’s and their exciting new life ahead, wish me a little luck too, as we sort through things, both touchable and intangible. Life moves on, doesn’t it?

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What a day…what a day…
January 20, 2009

Are you watching with me right now? Barack Obama just became the 44th President of the United States. What a day my friends, what a day. The sight of all those flags waving on the mall, the beautiful music of composer John Williams and Aretha Franklin….just put a lump in my throat. A good one. OK, got to listen to the speech right now…..more later.

Comment:from 2twentythree3:
this speech is unbelievable, good for him, it’s what we have ALL been waiting to hear……GO Obama!”
Update: I have to say, today Barack Obama remembered who he is. Not that he has ever forgotten, but here’s what I mean. When my kids were growing up, every time they would leave the house, I would say to them….”remember who you are”. By that I meant don’t disgrace yourself or your family. Behave yourself. Play nice. Do what you’re supposed to do. Remember who you are.
And today it was crystal clear that Barack Obama was telling Americans…remember who you are. Be kind to others. Care for the dreams of others, not just your own. Have the courage of your convictions. Be ready to work hard. Be kind. Live your values. Help those who have less than you. Remember who you are. It is a message that will hopefully resonate with all of us as we begin rebuilding this country and embark on a new political era. Let’s remember who we are.

UPDATE TWO: My partner Stan Stovall got choked up tonight on the 6 PM News…explaining what the inauguration of President Barack Obama meant to him…that he never thought he would see this day in his lifetime. That was from the heart, and let me tell you, it’s not a good feeling when you get choked up on the air (I know)….but he simply was taken by the emotion that has been felt by so many today. It was real, and I like that.