It was freezing on my last day in Seattle. Apparently, this was the coldest September this beautiful city has had in 20 years.
It was Sunday. Traffic was light, but my heart was heavy as I said goodbye to my grand- and great-grandchildren. My wonderful love-filled holiday in Seattle was over.
On our way to the airport, Michelle, her husband Paul at the wheel, and their two children each offered a prayer for my safety. It was a precious moment.
I have had pastors and church friends pray over me. And I have done the same for others. But when prayers come from the hearts of little children, it seems not at all presumptuous to believe that God is there, present, listening, taking notice, reassuring, comforting, healing. God visited that SUV. I swear He did. I have never felt so loved, so blessed.
Mateo is 14, a freshman in high school and a soccer star. Bella, whose room I occupied for three weeks, is in the second grade. She is 7, going on 27. She loves to write, has a stunning vocabulary and a spectacular imagination. I seriously think they should publish her stories.
Our flight landed ahead of schedule on a clear and beautiful night in Georgia. We touched down at Hartsfield Jackson 20 minutes early. Of course, once we got off there was the usual gridlock that plagues the world’s busiest airport. The wheelchair agents arrived half an hour late. Not good. I got to my sister’s way past midnight.
In the news
Last week, I watched as the speaker of the US House of Representatives announced that an impeachment inquiry against US President Donald Trump was under way. The networks have since been on overflow with their opinions and speculations.
I often wonder how people can feel jubilant about this latest turn of events. This cannot be the best situation for America. I think it is a dreadful commentary. Justified or not, late in coming as some say, or just in the nick of time as others do, it is a sad state of affairs for the United States, or for any nation.
It clearly does not affect one man alone. If only it was as simple as that. But it blemishes the entire nation. It is a pathetic testimony to the present state of the union. It is anything but united. It is a pitiful imitation of what the founding fathers envisioned, a far cry from the American dream.
So, the T-shirts are out and selling like hotcakes. It blows my mind to see so many cackle and cheer? Aren’t they American too? Or have they forgotten?
I remember the first time I saw placards against government. It was in 1967 at Golden Gate Park. That was at the time when the Haight Ashbury area in San Francisco was making headlines with pictures of young men and women, dressed in DIY tie-dyed mix-matched outfits and flowers in their hair, ostensibly promoting peace and love. There was a potent aroma of weed in the air wherever they congregated.
I must confess that at the time I was too immersed in my own personal crisis to pay much attention. But today’s scenario brings back vivid images of that era.
We lived on 2nd Avenue in the Richmond side of the park. On sunny days, we walked with our kids to the park, happy to just sit and watch the ducks in the pond and breathe some fresh air. When the “hippies” invaded “our space,” it became a problem to keep the children safe or guard them from seeing couples carry on like nobody was watching.
I guess the cries of discontent may have started then. The brazen, irreverent criticism of leadership was given a voice. It became cool, even patriotic, to complain or ruin someone’s reputation without proof. Soon, wrong started to become right. Evil began to look good.
Today four-letter words no longer raise eyebrows. We have been desensitized. The unprintable has gone viral.
I remember the day when, rather than face impeachment, Richard Nixon resigned. That, by the way, is not about to happen again anytime soon. At least I don’t think so.
It was a sad day. Not because I liked him that much, but because I felt a deep disappointment in the tarnished image of the highest position in the land. It was once the source of admiration and awe. I had a childlike faith in the institutions, and having been raised in a culture of a not too tacit admiration for America and Americans, I felt swindled.
Today this displeasure and growing distrust for anyone in authority is not confined to one man or one government alone. It is a global malady. Corruption and divisiveness have eroded our faith. Politics and politicians all over the world have done irreparable damage.
And now, thanks to our new toys, it has become easy to ventilate anger and hatred. Technology has placed wickedness just a click away.
On the way to my sister’s house, my Algerian driver gives his two cents’ worth. He sounds like the voice of doom. “It is not going well for the little people,” he says. “The big shots, they don’t care.”