So I was thinking about today being inauguration day and where I was on this day 12 years ago. Get a load of this story...In 2009 I was in DC sprawled out at the National Mall, colder than I had ever been before in my life, which is saying a lot for a Chicago native. Let me go back a bit. My friends and I had driven down 2 days before on the worst road trip I've been on in my entire life. There were 4 of us in my SUV, I drove most of the way, but that wasn't the problem. (So I thought. Years later all my passengers told me they were afraid while I was driving! 😰🤦🏾♀️)The problem was we were in a BLIZZARD going through MOUNTAINS! And if I recall correctly, my windshield wipers were wonky. 😰 And that's just where the series of unfortunate events BEGAN. When we got to my friend's cousin's house where we were staying, I got in the shower and when I got out, I fell on my face because my back went out! I had never felt such pain!! It was pretty scary because I could NOT get up. I scooted on my stomach into the bedroom, my friends covered me with a towel, and I had to be lifted up on the bed. In short, I ended up getting some type of muscle relaxer and/or pain medication and I was eventually able to stand/walk, and went about my day. Fast forward to the 20th. We get up at the crack of dawn, bundle up, make sure phones are charged, and head out on the Metro to the National Mall. There were so many others doing the same. It was quite the sight to see! Thousands of us waited for probably about 8 hours in the biting cold to see the inauguration of our nation's first Black President. There were several times I wanted to throw in the towel and say forget it, I'm going back to the house and just catch it on TV. But I stayed and I'm glad I did. Even though I was uncomfortably cold, threatening frostbite and hypothermia, the energy of the atmosphere made me stay put. The air was charged with a hopefulness and unity that I had never experienced. This was one part of history where I'm proud to say I had a proverbial front row seat. But it wasn't all good!
Quick recap before I go on: There was the scary journey through a blizzard and mountains (which I forgot to mention was at night), back went out, and camped out in freezing almost unbearable cold for several hours...but wait...there's MORE! Once the crowd started to disperse and we headed toward the Metro to go home, pain shot through my back again and I needed to sit for a bit. I'm pretty sure I said aloud that I needed to sit, but nobody in my group heard me. I didn't rest for long, but when I got up, my peeps were no where to be found! By this time, my phone had died and I only knew ONE person's number in my group by heart. On TOP of the night, the cell towers and trains had been shut down, so when I found somebody's phone to use, the one person whose number I knew went straight to voicemail! I ended up waiting and wandering around by myself until the trains began to run again. Luckily I remembered where to go and made it home safely, but imagine how lonely, nervous and even scared I was for a couple hours in a place I had never been before with throngs of strangers, and no phone. What a story I have to tell my grandkids one day. This was the BEST WORST trip ever!
Today, there is once a again a hopeful energy felt virtually across the nation. We're hoping for a better 4 years than the last, we're hoping for an end to the pandemic, we're hoping for equality, we're hoping for economic rebuilding, we're hoping for opportunity, and the list goes on. There's also a feeling of pride in the history that is being made by Kamala Harris being sworn in as the FIRST woman and FIRST Black Vice President. Due to the pandemic, we can't gather in celebration, but the celebratory mood is definitely felt. Plus, I'll never go to another inauguration again in my life time. Been there and don't wanna do that NO MO! LOL...
I pray that today and the days to come are filled with peace and harmony. In the words of my former pastor, "Forward ever, backwards never!"