This is not the welcome back post I intended to write.
I really wanted to write something that was positive, that spoke of resistance, of fighting back, of change. I wanted it to be polished. I have reached a point in my life when I realize that pretty much everything I say is going to offend someone, and I had this dream of writing some lovely post on gardening that would offend no one. I wanted my first post to be something purely inspiring. That’s not going to happen.
I am terrified. I really am. I’ll be upfront. I’ve never been that big of an Obama fan, but, holy shit, I am terrified of what’s coming. The cynic in me wants to say, hurrah, the onslaught of chaos and decay! But that’s really just the despair talking.
What is honestly going through my head right now is, I’m losing my baby. It has nothing to do with politics and current events and the rest of it. My baby, my little soulmate girl, is dying. My cat, who is 16, has a tumor. She has been with me for 9 years. She was with me through some of the darkest periods of my life, and I can honestly say that she saved my life. It’s such a cliché, but when I had my darkest moments, she was there to snuggle up and remind me I had something to live for. She has truly been my soulmate for almost a decade. And I’m about to lose her.
Every day for the past two months, I’ve thought it was the last day. Every day I’ve thought, this is it! It can’t get any worse! And then it does. But I’ve let it go this long because my baby is a fighter, and I can’t deny her the chance to fight because it’s hard for me to watch the struggle. This has been one of the most painful years of my life, and not just because of her, but she seems to be at the heart of it. But she keeps fighting. And how can I take that away from her?
Tonight I am making a decision about when we will end her life, because we can’t stand her suffering anymore. And while I’m sitting here, struggling with this decision, I’m watching Obama’s farewell speech, and somehow they are becoming one and the same. My girl is a fighter. She has refused to give in to a massive brain tumor, and has continued to live her life despite deteriorating conditions. She still cuddles with us, and with her adopted sister, and at the end of the day, she refuses to give in.
I feel like I have spent the last five (10?) years giving up. I spent the previous 10 years fighting. I went to protests, I volunteered, I gave talks, I did everything I could imagine. It didn’t work. I lost faith. And I have done nothing to correct that until recently. But in the last few months, and in light of watching the light of my life fight for her life, I have realized that I need to sacrifice everything to make things right. I cannot stand by. I read too much scifi- too much Octavia Butler and James Howard Kunstler- I cannot let it happen this way. On the day of the election my heart broke because I felt like the country voted against me, and all the people I care for. An educated, queer, off the wall human being. I felt like people who I thought were reasonable human beings voted for the degradation of my rights. And I cannot accept that.
I have to remember that I have to forge ahead, no matter how scared I am. I have to speak out, no matter how afraid I am of offending. So I’m going to say this now- I do not want to offend anyone, I really don’t. But I also can’t sit here and accept that as an outspoken, off-trend, whatever the fuck you want to call me woman, I cannot be silent.
I hope that we can find a place where we can all speak up for our own needs without stepping on those of others. This is a volatile climate. We all need a voice, and we all need representation. But we still all need to speak up, and it scares me that sometimes we tear at each other when we should be clearly speaking out against our true adversaries. It’s hard though. It’s hard to be sure of the exact impact of your words when the climate is one of microscopic scrutiny.
But in these final moments of this presidency, and in the final moments of my darling baby’s life, I know that we cannot be silent for fear of offending. We have to speak up. I need to remember the fearless woman I was in my 20s, when I volunteered for Planned Parenthood and stood up to radical Christians to defend the rights of human beings to have adequate health care. I don’t want to take away from anyone’s point of view, but I have to defend my right to be a human being, no matter what. The night of the election I drank myself into a stupor, I’ll admit it. I cried and cried and cried. I felt like the country had decided I didn’t have the right to be a person. But that. Is not. Going to happen. I will scream my head off, I will do whatever it takes, to make sure I, and everyone else, still retains their rights to make decisions about their own life. We will not submit. We will not allow this travesty to go forward. Fuck this. Fuck this to hell.
WE ARE STRONG. My baby is showing me that, as she every day shows me that the most important thing, really, is to cuddle her and help her through this broken time. My baby is showing me that I need to be a princess, like her, and DEMAND that I have my rights. That I am respected. That I can loudly be myself and voice my opinions (especially on this blog) and still keep going. I can’t sit back anymore. I can’t second guess my opinions. This is it. I will be loud. We all need to be. I’ve got your back. I hope you have mine.