Dance with me

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy and Healthcare

I have been thinking about Ted Kennedy all day. The first time that I remember hearing his name was in 1st or 2nd grade and we had taken a field trip to the Capitol building. A little girl in my class had a dad who was a senator or an important staffer...I only remember that her name was Sabrina. She was tiny and beautiful. Long blonde hair that always curled just right and she was an amazing artist. A very elegant little girl. Her dad gave us a special tour of the Capitol. We got to stand on the Senate floor and meet lots of Senators and House members. We met Tip O'Neill. I didn't know at the time that it was significant but now I realize how priviledged that tour had been. We went to the Senate prayer pretty and quiet. But the moment I remember the most is the elevator ride. Yes, we thought the elevator was cool....we were six and seven year olds....don't they all think that elevators are fun? But my group rode on the elevator with a very large man with a thick Northeastern accent. My friend's dad introduced us to him and he got down on our level and a huge smile spread across his face. He wanted to know each of our names. He shook our hands. That man was Ted Kennedy. He felt warm, kind and full of life. I was impressed.
In high school we were assigned a project that required us sitting in on Senate committees. I don't remember what the committee was....I only remember that Ted Kennedy was the chairman of that particular committee. I will look it up when I am done with this blog. He commanded the room but not in an overbearing just knew who was in charge. He listened intently to each speaker and asked thoughtful questions. He looked over his glasses and smiled often. He shook our hands at the end of the session. He knew that we were students and were there on assignment. Again, he wanted to know all of our names. Again, he felt warm and kind and full of life.
I am angered by the negative words spoken about him from people who don't appreciate his style of politics. He was a Democrat and he fought hard for what he believed in. Aren't we all supposed to fight hard for what we believe in? We live a country that doesn't decide all that for us and aren't we glad? Aren't we glad that we can speak out? But, please don't just use that free speech to lash out...use to make change for the good of us all.

I wish that Ted Kennedy was still around to see us through the healthcare reform. I was listening to a Senator on CNN today talking about healthcare and talking about how we all want a choice and that of course, as a newly married woman she chose to pay for maternity coverage. The more she talked, the angrier I became. Yes, all of us want choice. But right now there are so many people who don't have a choice. They don't have insurance and yes, they can choose to be treated for their ailments, or go for a preventative visit...but, they can't afford it. Their only choice is no healthcare. Can we live with that?
I believe the healthcare system is so like the public school system. We all pay for public school (and roads, and bridges, and Medicare, and disability, the public library, and police, and firefighters....) but you can choose to not use it and send your child to private school or homeschool. But we all still have to pay for public school....otherwise the only people to receive an education would be those who could afford it. What a shame that would be! Well, I think that healthcare is even more basic than education and we are doing exactly that...those who have money are receiving healthcare and those who don't have money are not receiving healthcare. We need to take care of each other and stop thinking only about what we think will be good for our own family.

Looked it up....Senator Kennedy was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1979. I was a senior in high school.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Heart Thoughts

I have been feeling lately that friends are not happy with a choice I have made. That choice is to stay in the Church of Christ. I keep running this around in my brain and so now I will pour some of those thoughts out...they may not make sense but here they are.
Some of my earliest memories are of church. Sun streaming in huge glass windows. Dogwoods blooming in that floaty way that they bloom outside those same huge glass windows. Glass communion cups tinkling in their holders. My beautiful mother in a lime green dress with pearls and pretty pink lipstick. Patent leather shoes that won't touch the floor. Little white socks folded over. Voices lifted in praise. Comfortable people who love me and teach me about Jesus. Aunt June and all her silliness that gets me in trouble and probably a thump on the head. Friends who will be my friends my whole life....not everyday friends but friends that will always be there for me.
Another church...same heritage....completely different feel. Old wooden floor. Loud, boisterous singing. Feet tapping out the time on the old wood floor. Outhouses. My beloved Grandma in a flowered dress and a flashy hat singing in her little voice. People who love me...not truly for who I am ......but because I belong to a certain family that they already love. This church has a dusty parking lot and in the August heat men stand out there in the dust and smoke.
Moving on to young motherhood. Again, different church...same heritage but again, different feel. Yes, we left this church in the midst of conflict but from those early years there there was so much good. Padded pew covered in cheerios, books, and toys. Hands resting on an expectant belly. Sweet curly heads resting under my chin. People who loved my children as their own. Returning home from WaMaVa retreats exhausted but content. Our son in the waters of baptism.
Yes, I am still attending a Church of Christ and yes, there are still moments that are frustrating to me but there is also so much to love.
Voices and hands lifted in song. Children who feel loved and cherished as part of the church family. Thinking. Witnessing often people taking care of each other. An atmosphere of tolerance. Humor.
Yes, I wish that our next preacher could be a woman and yes, I wish that we had female elders. And yes, I know that I could be somewhere else and they would have that but I am willing to walk this journey with this family that I am a part of right now. I don't want my friends who have left the Church of Christ to think that I am saying that they should've stayed....not at all. I only want respect and support for my choice.
I am sure that there will be more later on this but this is just what is in my head at this very moment.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Love These Voices

I have been loving Patty Griffin, thanks to Mary Kate, and then I found this on utube and it brought chills. Two beautiful voices that sound amazing together.