Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This One Belongs to Dad!!

It gives me great pleasure to turn over this entry to Dad...who witnessed history and the dawning of a new day for our county...Dad, take it away.

Well, they don't get much wiser than our Arlie Rufus, so I thank him so for the chance to share a few thoughts about today and what I witnessed. Today, I'm more proud to be an American than ever. We are all proud and loyal Americans, but there are a few times in our lives when we say "Today, everyone in the world wants to be an American" and today was that day. I was fortunate to join 2 million Americans, as well as those from England, Trinidad and Tobago (friends from both with me today), as well as countless others who shared in this moment in Washington, DC. It was cold as we awoke at 530 a.m. and made the mad rush to the Mall. Cold, weary, but filled with the same hope that brought us to this day, we made friends, helped folks get the best camera angles; watch the jumbo tron from the mall with the capital ahead of us. I don't know if I can put into words watching OUR new president step down to the capitol steps. It made my knees weak knowing what was about to happen. As Justice Roberts completed giving the oath and our new President said "so help me God." I burst into tears. The African-American young man behind me tapped me on my shoulder, reached out his hand, gave me a fist bump, then shook it and we embraced. Then, the older African American man next to me grabbed my arm and shook my hand and then gave me a hug. That's what today all was about. People of all colors, races, religions, ages, sexual orientations were dancing, hugging, crying together. It was the most moving, important event I have ever witnessed.

As I have returned to my hotel room and send this to all of you, my eyes are still filled with tears. Our feet are tired for sure, but our hearts are filled with pride...pride in not only our nation for giving us this historical moment, but pride in our citizens as well all take President Obama's dream of serving our communities, schools, churches, neighbors and nation in a way we have never seen in our history. I'm so glad President Obama asked us to give of ourselves -- that's been a long time coming and what makes this man and his mission so very special.

Arlie, thank you for giving me this time. I miss you so very much and cannot wait to come home, and share a tear with you, Foster and Dad. Because today WE ARE ONE!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sure I Miss Dad, But He's Witnessing History

Has anyone been as cold as I have over the past few weeks? Dang! It's Atlanta -- Hotlanta, but the cold remains. Mind you, I am terribly skilled at dashing down the steps of the deck, relieving myself and returning back to the house for some warmth and a well deserved chewie treat. As the days and nights remain cool, I'm a bit sad that Dad Ed isn't home. No. No. No. He's not doing that crazy ass cross country travel again. Nope. Dad's in Washington, DC witnessing history. When our man Barack won the election last November, Dad decided he needed to be there. I've never seen Dad so emotional as that evening. The election had so much meaning for him, and as I've found out, for all of us. Today, Dad called and told us that he was part of the 300, 000 or so that joined together to celebrate this special time in American history with the entertainment and a short address by President Obama. He's joining a few friends -- one from England -- and all appear to be overtaken with emotion. Dad told us Simon (his pale little buddy from London) had tears when the Star Spangled Banner played and then when Barack spoke. He apparently choked Dad up to, as it proved the importance of President Obama taking over as our president...not just for Americans, but for the world. Wow...pretty powerful stuff I'm thinking! Well since we don't have HBO at the house (what's up with that...they'd never skip a sports network, but no HBO??), I couldn't share in the fun of today's events. But as Dad has said "On Tuesday, January 20, 2009, we are a new nation, one filled with hope and possibility" and that's one event I'll make certain to take in from the comfort of our big couch. I'd love to be with Dad, but if I don't want to hang out in the backyard on an Atlanta winter day, you know that DC winter weather will be ruff! Have fun Dad. We love and miss you and sure our happy WE ARE ONE!!