I’m not talking about the national elections (except a bit at the end.) I experienced all of these emotions before noon yesterday, as we attended the funeral for my aunt Donna, who passed away Nov. 1 after having Alzheimer’s for about 13 years. A funeral is always sobering, but Donna’s was more so personally because she was my Mom’s sister, and she developed symptoms when she was just 55. I’m only 10 years younger now than she was then. It makes me realize anew how precious each day is.
Donna’s husband Rod has been amazing through the whole process, first caring for her at home and then faithfully going to visit her every day in the nursing home, even when she long ago ceased to recognize him. Rod exemplified “in sickness and in health…as long as you both shall live.” I want to honor him and tell the world how thankful we are for his love for Donna, and how proud we are of him. So I just did.
Another proud moment came in the afternoon, when we returned home and took the family out for our civic experience in voting. My daughter Rebekah cast her first ballot.
Bekah and her parents contributed 3 votes of Sen. Norm Coleman’s (at this writing) 762-vote margin over Al Franken in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race, with 99 percent of precincts reporting. A recount is coming, but we don’t have hanging or dimpled chads like Florida (we mostly have optical scanning of fill-in-the-circle ballots), and the precincts outstanding are from remote areas of the northern Minnesota arrowhead where there probably aren’t enough votes to make up the difference.
So it was a day of mixed emotions, but the big lesson we took from Uncle Rod is that how you handle adversity is what matters most, and from the election we again saw that every vote counted. And in the Minnesota Senate race, it will be counted again.