The Night The Patriarchy Turned Blue: Democracy, Shenanigans, and Texas

Last night I was up until past 1:30 am watching democracy at work. I wasn’t watching it on any major news outlet though, for which I am further past angry than I’ve been in a long time, but I was not alone. I watched alongside 170,000+ other people who refused to stop looking because the patriarchy said there was no news being made and I’m happy to report from the milky daylight of a brand new day that there was news made and that our system of government still works. I hope you saw it too because it truly was breathtaking to see the Austin Statehouse erupt with the voices of the people of Texas who filibustered themselves when their legislature attempted to silence their official Senate voice in her attempt to be heard. Today, in the milky sunshine of this brand-new day, Wendy Davis is a bonafide hero – pink running shoes and all – as much as any man who fought any other battle that shaped Texas into what it is today. She gets not only my utmost respect but also my hope that someone gave her a really good foot rub and our donations for any race she chooses to run in the future even though she does not represent us, yet. To be sure, there will be a price paid by her, and my household will help her pay it. Because we, as a family, have that choice, because she was not willing to let the constitutionally protected choices of the women of Texas be taken away without raising her voice in protest and alarm.

To Wendy’s point (and my own), whatever your belief, you must understand forever that this is my body and I make my choices. Nobody else gets that right, not you, not my husband, not anybody else. And before you try to take that away from me you must understand that I have lost my choices before because of somebody else’s beliefs and I will not allow that to ever happen again for my daughter or my niece or their girl children, either today, tomorrow, or any day. I will fight you with my voice, with my words, with my money, with my body. I will fight. You may win a battle but you will not win this war. Because I will not fight alone. Austin was but a foreshadowing.

You really won’t like me when I’m angry.

You’ve been warned.

Requiem, remembrance, and resurrection?

RIP David… you were loved, by so many, for not nearly long enough and the world is dimmer at your passing. But truly, your death, for those of us left behind wrought so many other things that have flooded my brain, things that I’m still trying to sort out. Things that I cannot really find the words to speak about.

Yet.

You were one of us. Too young. Taken. Gone. Yet in death you reunited us. The remains of our small tribe. Beaten, battered, scarred, yet still standing. And betrayed in a way at the loss of you. Because your loss means our own mortality is very much in our minds. If you can die then our own survival becomes a question. And our certainty about survival becomes less.

Much less.

I hope you’re at peace. They say you’re not in pain anymore. I’m not sure. I cannot imagine a greater pain than being dead. Being gone. Being alone. I hope “they’re” right. I hope I’m wrong about where you are now.

I hope.

But “they” also say that every death is accompanied by new life and seeing us three together, I hope “they’re” right. I hope our tribe is reuniting in old age, much like we were knitted together of miscast threads in our youth. Growing old is scary. Growing old alone is worse. Death divides and unites. Death brings death, and life. Life brings hope and fear and pain and joy. Death is hard, life is harder. Life together- with the people who know all of your secrets and pain, all of your oldest dreams and fears- is easier somehow, but it’s also more scary.

Much more scary.

It’s much easier to be someone else if the people who know the real you aren’t there to point out your subterfuge. Aren’t there to say “I’m pretty sure that you’ve got on no clothes”. Aren’t there to pull off your mask and make you be real. I’m not sure that I’m real anymore. Are you? Is anyone?

Are you sure?

Your death, a haven for you from any more feelings, has for us opened up a whole chapter of nothing but for those of us left behind. Your urn led us to a cemetary filled with the life we left when we moved into adulthood full of hubris and snarls and the belief that we could walk away from our wreckage and never deal with the horrible things we had wrought in the lives of the others we were attached to like siamese twins intent on doing each other harm. Your death made us acknowledge that life. That pain. That fear. The silence of words we never could say to each other but that we needed to shout to the world. These are the things we received along with the loss of you. The terror of finally telling the truth. Comparing our stories. Remembering the same things differently.

Oh so differently.

Interestingly, your death is filled with infinite peace for you but yet ripe with complexity for those of us left behind. Sorting through our reunion, figuring out how we fit now, remembering the passion, the anger, the disappointment, the love.

Yes, the love. That we thought was gone. That’s still with us today. A living breathing thing. That wrapped us in its wings and comforted us in our loss of you. Gave us peace. Peace like it gave you.

Sweet peace.

And truthfully I almost envy you for that peace. Somehow being dead is easier. No worries. About anything. Just dead. At peace. And I hope you are. At peace that is. We will be. I’m sure. Eventually. Now that we’re reattached. Like we were years ago. You had the power to unite and to divide. I think we’re together. I hope we stay that way. Even if it’s complicated. Even if it challenges us. Even if we struggle. As long as we hang onto each other. As long as we hang onto the thread of the rope that love threw us. I hope we will.

I hope.

We love you David. We mourn your loss. We wish it wasn’t you to go. One of the youngest. One of the most alive. You should have lived. You were one of the good ones. But we didn’t get to choose. You were the one who went. And you gave us the gift of each other as you left us.

Thanks.

So peace little brother. Rest in peace. We wish you good journeys, fair winds and following seas. We salute you from the shore of a distant life and wish you everything that we can for the dead. We wish you love.

Love. Now, before, after, forever.