Even through all the hours of volunteering, miles of travel, days of anticipation; I could never have imagined a feeling like this. A feeling that cannot be described…a historic feeling.
Through voter registration drives, phone banks shifts, campaign rallies and debate watching parties. I could never have imagined that I would be a part of something my kids could be so proud of me for.
As the day approached, a sense of numbness came over me as I continued to do my small part to be a part of history. A numbness that removed any feeling of counting pre-hatched eggs of historic proportions. Even as momentum grew, I did not let my efforts become complacent.
I think of the sacrifices and hours I gave then sit in awe as I realize they don’t even compare to what he gave for this…historic opportunity.
Everyone dreams of that story they can tell their kids, their grandkids and great-grandkids. The story that always can be summed up with these words…
I WAS THERE.
I was there in Springfield he first asked the nation to say, “Yes We can!”
I was there in the room of dozens calling voters in other states to tell them about this great man.
I was there when I had to say good-bye to Trinity and Daddy J.
I was there in Denver when he accepted the nomination, united a party and ignited a nation.
I was there among the hundreds who registered last minute voters in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
I was there when people opened their homes to watch the debates with strangers held by the common belief that CHANGE and HOPE are possible.
I was there when a young boy asked “VOTE FOR MY BETTER TOMORROW”
I was there when hundreds of thousands voted early in record numbers.
I was there when we called on millions of young voters to take back their country and show this country that our generation is not lost.
I was there when 250,000 waited outside of Grant Park, the site of race riots just 40 years ago, in hopes of being there when history was made.
I was there when each electoral vote was awarded…
And finally 292
I was there when strangers hugged each other and cried in each other’s arms, overcome by the emotion of the moment.
I was there when many called their loved ones to share the news.
I was there as they sold T-shirts, buttons, towels so we’d never forget this night.
I was there when 250,000+ screamed “Yes We Can” as he walked on stage.
I was there.
Never in my life…even during the campaign did I expect to feel such a joy that could be compared to the births of my children. Yet there I was…calling my little girls in tears to let them know that I loved them and to remind them that this night proves that anything can happen and importantly to look to this day if they ever doubt what they are capable of.
I was there when millions celebrated in the streets all of the country as if they celebrated a new year when in fact they were celebrating a new day, a new country and a new belief in to what is possible.
I was there the next morning as everyone scrambled to newsstands to pick up their piece of history.
I was there as to witness homeless men and women smile from ear to ear to spend their only dimes and nickels on anything with his face on it.
I was there.
I was there.
I was there and nothing can compare to that. No one can take that from me.
Yet life goes on…as will I. Back to my life before “I was there”; before history was made as a nation said “Yes we can”.
So as my hair turns grey and my children grow, I now have my old man story that I will tell over and over. I have my story that will define my generation. A story I hope will inspire all and motivate others. A story that will be read by those that weren’t there so that they may create their own “I was there” moment.
I may not have been there when ROSA SAT
Or when MARTIN WALKED
But damn it…I was there when OBAMA RAN
And I pray that I am there when OUR CHILDREN FLY