Presidential Election: “Sad and Tragic Day for Our Nation” ?

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After hearing that President Barack Obama had just been reelected to a second four-year-term as our nation’s president I turned to my laptop and watched as Facebook suddenly became a blur of emotions, with months of political discourse coming to a head and clashing in a sea of insults and joyous celebration.

For perspective, I posted this on my timeline:

“In 1981, my parents fled Poland two weeks before Martial law. I was 4, my sister was 8 months old. They left the only home they ever knew and came to America, because they knew it was filled with promise and opportunity rather than riddled with the side effects of Communism, like crappy health care and 5 hour-long lines for stale bread. Some are elated tonight, and some are downright depressed, but know this: we get to pick again in 4 years. Before you bad mouth our country, try living somewhere else, where there is No choice and truly No hope. Count your blessings America, because there are many.”

I awoke this morning knowing our country continued to be greatly divided and that emotions were running high and I checked in on my favorite social media sites to see how everyone was faring.

But my fascination quickly turned to disgust when I kept seeing the same status popping up over and over:

“A sad and tragic day for our nation.”

Disappointing? Sure, if your guy didn’t win, I’m sure you’re feeling disappointed.

Frustrated? Nervous? Deflated? If you were counting on a different outcome, then of course you’re likely to feel these things.

But to exclaim that this is a tragic day for our nation?


This is what TRAGIC looks like. Photo courtesy 9/11 Photos via Flickr.

If I sound like I’m scolding some of you, it’s because I am. Get it together people and gain some perspective. Because this country will go to hell in a hand basket not because of a single man, but because we allow ourselves to forget just how amazing and resilient and FREE our nation truly is.

Maybe you woke up this morning feeling frightened about your future because you were counting on the other guy to make things better. But you also woke up in the same country where you are Free to express your religious beliefs, Free to speak your mind, Free to choose where you want to live, and Free to think idiotic things such as “this is a tragic day for our nation.”

I urge you to find a way today to remind yourself just how good we have it, even if you’re facing economic strife or some sort of adversity. I can tell you this much: as a mom of a special needs child, there’s nowhere else in the world I’d rather be because I know that even though we have a long way to go in the way of awareness, accessibility, and acceptance, we are light years ahead of so many other countries in the world.

Today I un-friended the first person since the Presidential campaigns began. She threw a tantrum on Facebook and compared our President and those who voted for him to terrorists.

I draw the line there. Those photos above? That’s the handiwork of terrorists.

So if you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps today because Mitt Romney won’t be moving into the White House come January, remember that we live in a nation where you get to do this all over again in four years.

In the meantime, empower others by getting involved in your community somehow. Do something kind for someone. Be someone’s hero. Spread kindness and tolerance. Teach your children that diversity is the cornerstone of this country and show them that not only is it possible to lose with dignity and respect, it’s imperative if we’re to move forward as nation.

Then meet up with your coworkers at the water cooler or your friends at the bar, and talk about what an idiot you think Obama is.

Because you can.

UPDATE: I’m so happy to know that this post has resonated with so many of you. I wrote it from my heart and I feel the exact same way today. Of course, I wrote it hoping we could all join hands and sing Kumbaya while rainbow-colored unicorn poop fell from the sky, but alas, (and according to some of the comments) we just aren’t there yet. So in the meantime, if you have a comment, please remember to remain respectful or it will be deleted. Because unlike our fair nation, this website here is a straight up dictatorship.

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Now that Barack Obama is re-elected, where can I get some pot?

Yesterday was a very big day here in Massachusetts. Of course, it was a big day all over the country, for obvious reasons … but around here, especially so because we made medicinal marijuana legal.

As someone suffering from degenerative spinal arthritis and more, this is fantastic news. Until now, my choice for pain relief has been Tylenol (generic versions thereof) or Demerol (most narcotics make me sick; Demerol is the exception). Tylenol, generic or original will eventually do in your liver just as effectively as alcohol. You can be a teetotaler and wind up with cirrhosis of the liver, which is pretty pathetic. You don’t even get to be a drunk before your liver rots.

I can’t take ibuprofen or any of the NSAID drugs because of my long history gastric ulceration and other issues. So mostly, I grind my teeth, use ice packs, take drugs to sleep and hope I get 5 or 6 hours. When I’m awake, I try to ignore the pain or I can bore everyone to tears by complaining, so usually I ignore it — with varying degrees of success. I have gotten as good as anyone ever has at ignoring pain and if it were an Olympic event, I might get a gold medal. But the pain level keeps increasing. Sustaining my nonchalance isn’t working out all that well.

I’m getting less mobile. Day by day, there’s less I can do. The condition is not new. It dates all the way back to my teen years when falling off horses did some serious damage. Yet I managed to have a pretty normal life until a couple of years ago when everything started to get much worse.

It was the cancer drugs. Those drugs screwed up my system in so many ways I can’t even count. Whether or not I’ll be able to shake off the after effects of the drugs is a question no one seems able to answer. I can hope. The spine was already bad; the drugs speeded up the disintegration.

The stenosis and spondylolithesis (also known as anterolisthesis) makes me walk crooked and that has snowballed into bursitis in both hips. It turns out the hip bone’s connected to the spine bone, etc. So my back hurts and in trying to make it hurt less, I’ve made my hips hurt like hell. It’s not life threatening, but it sure is unpleasant … and it makes finding a comfortable position in which to sleep kind of tricky.

To wrap it up succinctly, I am having more and more difficulty walking, even on level surfaces. Stairways and uneven ground are Hell. Next month, I have an appointment with my wonder-working doctor to see if he has a little miracle in his bag of magic tricks to help relieve some of the pain. Meanwhile … hey, don’t Bogart that joint, my friend.

I know smoking dope is not going to make the pain go away, but, with a wee bit of luck, it will make me not care. It might even help me get more than 4 hours of sleep. I’ll settle for that.

Under the Massachusetts law, patients with HIV, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, or other conditions can obtain a card from the state permitting them to purchase the drug. They will be allowed to have a 60-day supply. They can appoint a caregiver to get the drug on their behalf. I’m pretty sure that level 5 arthritis with stenosis and disk degeneration will probably make the cut especially combined with cancer and the inevitable anxiety that accompanies the rest of the mess.

Still, I’m optimistic. I may be sick. I may be getting old, but finally, at long last … I can be all of those things … and stoned. Which might be enough to make forget the rest, at least for a little while.

Don’t let my flippant tone fool you. I’m thrilled. Life has been getting more and more physically challenging. It has gone from inconvenient to uncomfortable, from uncomfortable to constant pain. It’s taken a full 45 years to do it, so I’ve had a good run, but I could really use a little help.

I had been trying, with a high degree of success, to avoid watching political advertisements or any of the debates. I read the transcripts of the debates and other stuff, but this has been a very distasteful campaign. I was so successful at avoiding the whole thing that I didn’t know medical marijuana was on the ballot until I turned my ballot and realized there were two more propositions on the back. One of these was the proposal to make medical marijuana legal. You know I voted for it.

And it passed! Wow! There’s hope!

Supposedly, the way this will work is the Department of Public Health will write rules within the next four months. Once the rules are written, the law can be put into motion. As outlined on the ballot, there will be at least one nonprofit marijuana distribution center in each county, with up to 35 allowed in 2013. Worcester is a big county with a high unemployment rate. I think they’re going to need quite a few. They may eventually have to fight Dunkin Donuts for the really good locations. Come to think about it, they should put them next to each other. Just for convenience.

The park on the river in the middle of town.