Today was filled with a whole bunch of emotions that I’m just now processing and thinking through.
First came my desire to vote and the 3 different stops I had to make in order to get it done! I had some unexpected free time this morning and just knew that I needed to MAKE .IT. HAPPEN. And so, I persevered and got my sticker!
I’m not gonna lie – this vote was difficult. I wasn’t, in ANY way, thrilled with the choices (and that’s the extent in which I will publicly talk about that) and it was hard knowing that typically I would have conversations with my dad about the process and his thoughts on the candidates. Quite honestly, I’m thankful the REAL craziness of this election happened after my dad’s death – I know he would have been extremely disappointed with how it has played out. However, he was a FIRM believer in exercising our RIGHT (and PRIVILEGE…and DUTY) to vote so he would have ABSOLUTELY participated in the process.
Back at the end of February my dad had been in and out of the hospital for several weeks and, at the time, was staying in a rehab facility to (hopefully) regain some strength after several bad falls. It was a really hard time for my dad – but honestly almost more so for my mom (and the rest of our family that needed to take shifts to stay with him). Regardless, with every “excuse” NOT to make it a priority, my dad INSISTED that we take him to vote in the primary election.
I’ll never forget pulling up to the rehab hospital and beginning the walk in to the building (to take a shift/give my mom a break) and seeing my dad being helped into the passenger’s seat of my mom’s car. He was extremely weak, in his pajamas and still sporting his most recent bandage from the latest fall! I rushed over to see what was going on (praying that he hadn’t talked them in to letting him go home) and he BEAMED a “Lynn Grin” as he proudly said, “I’M ON MY WAY TO VOTE!” As a veteran, with a deep love for this/his country, there was no arguing with him about making this happen.
My sweet mom took him to the polling spot near their home (I’m sure he had her drive by the house just so he could see “home” on their way) and was thrilled to learn that he could stay in the car and the officials could bring out a device for my dad to vote – IN THE CAR! This was such a gift to him/her so they didn’t have to figure out how to get him in and out. Proudly, he cast his vote.
So- today I voted…I didn’t do it “for my dad” but I know I did it, in part, BECAUSE of my dad. I’ll forever be thankful for his dedication and example he shared with making this a priority in my life.
After voting, I had an hour to kill and a growling stomach so headed to grab lunch. I wanted a little something better than the typical drive-thru burger, so treated myself to Zoe’s. A few years ago I wouldn’t have considered eating alone in a “restaurant” but, I’ve become a real grownup since then so I picked a spot. 🙂
Things were going great till I saw a woman about my age walk in, look around and then head to the bathroom. While she was gone, an older man entered, looked around and stood by the door. I didn’t put two and two together until I saw his face break in to a HUGE grin as he turned and looked past me. A few seconds later I saw the back of the woman as she walked by me and I heard her say “Hey, Dad…” as she approached the beaming older man.
After a quick hug, they headed to the register to order and it was like I mouthed the words along with him as I watched him say, “Don’t you dare…put that away, it’s my treat.” It was exactly the phrase I have heard hundreds of times…a phrase I’ll forever miss hearing– for reasons that have NOTHING to do with a “free meal”.
My mom is sweet to often say “Your dad wants to treat us to…”(lunch, dinner, ice cream, gas on a road trip, etc.) and I need to stop fighting her when she does cause I know she’s right. He has ALWAYS insisted on paying – even when I invited HIM to lunch for HIS birthday (but that’s a different story – you can read that here)!
#YesDadIvoted <-and I’ll miss you calling to check to make sure I did!