Today my heart is broken and I feel compelled to write about it here.
I’ve been rather quiet as of late, but for a very good reason: I’m traveling with my mother to fulfill one of her life-long dreams to see Eastern Europe. We started in Poland, moved onto the Czech Republic and are now making our way to Budapest. Her grandparents came from Poland in the early 1900s and she has always wanted to visit. I had some work on this side of the world, so she came along for the ride, quite literally, as she has been a part of my experience every step of the way. It has been great traveling together, one for the memory books, but it has also been painful. We have walked through what were once Jewish ghettos, synagogues and concentration camps (Auschwitz and Birkenau). We have seen the remnants of what was once a vibrant Jewish population all over Europe one day and wiped out the next day. We have felt ghosts in our presence and feel like witnesses to the worst crime ever committed in what was only one lifetime ago.
Naturally, I have articles to write. I am seen things I want to tell you about.` I have stayed in hotels I want to tell you about. I have also eaten in restaurants I want to tell you about.
And I will.
But not today. Instead I’m paralyzed from the head down. Today everything I believe shattered like glass. My hope for a better future for my family and myself was eliminated with the election of Donald Trump.
I have been a longtime supporter for Hillary Rodham Clinton and felt so sure and determined that she would win the race to the White House, but despite taking the popular vote, she did not take the electoral vote. It was a long and rigorous night of up and down results, with Trump taking one state after another, declaring a victory early this morning.
When I heard the news, my heart sunk and I felt incredibly defeated. I cried at breakfast in front of strangers in the hotel’s restaurant. I yelled at a cab driver who informed me he had no understanding of her as a leader. I cried on the train. My heart is pulled in 1,000 pieces.
Since I’m abroad, I instantly thought about my young children at home. Asked to cast their ballot the other day in a mock election at school, they voted for HRC and she won by a landslide. I guess that’s what happens when you live in a NY community that’s predominantly blue every year. We are surrounded by other HRC supporters for the most part. It’s also nice to think about the fact that HRC’s Westchester home is only a half-hour from our house.
What would I tell my 13YO daughter who my heart sinks for when I realize she now won’t witness a female POTUS? Last night we spoke about the election. With the results not yet confirmed, I refused to talk about it, still feeling a glimmer of hope that the election would turn in our favor.
Now we have confirmation that we will not be able to enjoy HRC’s optimism and goodness for the next four years; instead we get a man elected for his sexist, misogynistic, racist, very un-PC leanings. I need to call my daughter later and talk to her about the situation. She’s scared, I am sure, as we’ve talked about the dangers of a Trump Presidency often. Here’s what I plan to tell her, when I have stopped crying completely:
We will get though this. Donald Trump didn’t win. Hate and fear won. We have to combat that fear by promoting love and kindness, by living the best lives we can.
This is not forever but while he’s in power, we must accept it. If Donald Trump is our elected leader, we have to let him lead. What we don’t agree with, we will fight for. In four years, hopefully, we will elect him out.
A woman didn’t make it into the White House, but one day one will. HRC was our dream President. She was experienced and more than capable. While I can’t explain what happened to the results, I can promote girl power to ensure that we see another woman in these shoes.
It’s okay to cry. I’ve cried on and off today. This was going to be so incredible that I felt myself climbing out of my skin wanting to celebrate victory. I didn’t expect HRC to lose and it hit me very hard.
Everything will be alright. Donald Trump behaved like an ignorant bully during his campaign, but he’ll hopefully employ a few smart people to help him make decisions (we can only pray).
We are not moving. Everyone we know said they’d move to Canada during the campaign. HRC wouldn’t want us to run away and we won’t.
We will do that we can to keep life as we know it alive, much of which was HRC’s vision. Millions of women and men voted for HRC. Together, we will stay here and defend our rights and the rights of those we love. We will donate money to Planned Parenthood to keep abortion alive. We will support our gay friends and family members. We will do everything we can to keep #BlackLivesMatter alive. We will protest the lack of gun control restrictions.
Hillary Clinton offered everything I wanted for my future and that of my family. She was going to uphold everything in life I care most about. Our new President wants to knock it all down.
My daughter’s future is so bright. It seemed much brighter with HRC in it but we will keep marching towards that light. That’s all we can do.