OK I know, give me a break; I couldn’t think of a title.
On November 4, ’08 Sharyl cast her ballot for her choice to lead this great nation for the next four years. It is a secret ballot so I don’t know if her guy won. One week later on November 11 she made the drive to Seminole for just another routine day at the office. It was the last time she would do either of those things.
I also made that trip to the voting booth in ’08, I returned again this week. I think I only voted one time in between, which was in the general election in ’10. During that four-year period I didn’t really care who was elected sheriff or senator or mayor or whatever. But one of the 15-year-old kids that I coached in summer softball more years ago than the kids or I care to recall was trying to become governor of the state of Oklahoma. I had to help Mary see if she could govern better than she could play softball; thank god, I believe she can. We weren’t very good but we had a lot of fun. If any of you girls read this stuff, thanks for the memories.
Sharyl and I almost always voted, not just for president or governor, we cared who was mayor, school board member, councilman, or county treasurer. Our political views were usually the same, neither of us was vocal or actively campaigned we were just members of the silent majority.
My first presidential election was ‘64; the choices were Lyndon Johnson or Barry Goldwater. Barry’s campaign slogan was “In Your Heart You Know He’s Right”. We didn’t get to find out but, in my heart, I still believe he was right.
Sharyl’s first ballot was in ’68 the choices were Richard Nixon (Tricky Dick) or Hubert Humphrey. I am just proud to live in a country where it is OK to call the President “Tricky Dick” or “Slick Willie” or “Peanuts” or “Dubya”. I have kind of been out of touch, I don’t know if the guy we just reelected has a nickname or if he is OK with that sort of thing.
The real reason I am at the keyboard tonight is not to talk about politics. Politics is one of the four things I don’t seriously discuss with friends. The other three are religion, family doctors and motor oil. Maybe I will explain the motor oil deal later.
The four years following that final routine trip to Seminole is the real reason I’m here. Sometimes it seems like yesterday. Sometimes it seems like a very long time ago. I use the word routine because she continued to go to the office occasionally until last November 4th but those trips were not the “love you babe, have a good, day I’ll see you about 5:30” kind of trips. I almost always took her and, if she was having a good day, 3 hours was a long stay.
The past few weeks I have struggled with my inability to get better. I shared that struggle in a recent post. A few days ago something drove me to read the original entry to the “ourmom” blog. I kept reading, not because I wanted to. I read it because I needed to or had to. I read every word of the 312 posts and every word of your 1084 comments. I won’t share that experience; it is much too personal.
When I finished what Lori and I wrote, from Dec 10 ’08 through Jan 29 ’12, I was a basket case, I am proud you weren’t here. I took a little break, regained enough composure to see the monitor again and read the final 11 posts. God I’m glad I wrote those last eleven. I think I have taken another small step back up that hill. I know I feel better; at least for a little while.
When I was a kid I hung around the corner gas station a lot. There was always a bunch of old men sitting around drinking RC Cola and talking about life, politics and sometimes they talked about motor oil. I thought there might be a fistfight to determine if Gulf Pride was better than Havoline or Trop Artic or Pennzoil. If they would have listened to a kid I could have settled it because Dad didn’t hang around the gas station but he knew about cars and he always used Gulf Pride.
I decided not to risk a friendship over motor oil; as I got older I added doctors, religion and politics to the list.
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Good Night and God Bless.