In Wisconsin, we are having a revolution.
We are gathering signatures to recall the Governor
Koch Walker and a few of his stooges in the state senate. The right wingers are jittery and lashing out. Their media shills are shriller than usual and provoking stochastic terrorist incidents. So far those incidents have not resulted in any serious injuries. The petition circulators are advised to go out in groups for their own safety. Sometimes, speaking out on behalf of working people, the poor, the sick, the elderly and the disenfranchised will get you some bruises and a smashed camera. Just ask my friend noise of rain.
Despite the hate, we remain upbeat. It takes it's toll on us but we gather strength from the support of our friends and the sight of those signatures rolling in.
When Walker is gone (and he will go), we will be left to repair a broken state government and heal a society split and rubbed raw by a political battle that we didn't want but couldn't avoid. The morning after the recall election will be another day to rise up and and put our shoulders to the wheel. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Successfully recalling these fools only gets us to the starting line.
This is what democracy looks like.
We live our lives. We work and love and fight and rest and then we get up and do it some more.
We struggle on.
Yesterday morning, my father had a heart attack. He's 89. He is the youngest of 13 children. All his siblings are gone, but he is not alone.
When I hear the words "husband" and "father" and "worker" I think of him. I've always wanted to be like him. Despite some serious disabilities, he started working at 13 and never looked back.
My Pop isn't famous and he certainly isn't wealthy, but he is a rich man. He is surrounded by people who love him. Last night at the hospital, his children and grandchildren were gathered in the hospital's family lounge, down the hall from his room in the ICU. We silently rotated through his room in twos and threes, letting him sleep. He has some fluid in his lungs and his breathing is labored but steady. One of my sisters is sitting vigil today, updating us with emails. He slept well last night and his vitals are pretty good. He may rally, then again he may not. We must wait and see.
Mom died eight years ago after a long, losing battle with Alzheimer's Disease. They were married forever. My twin brother and I were the youngest of their nine children (yes, devout Catholics.) The same summer that mom passed, He lost a son (cancer) and a son-in-law (heart attack). It was a rough patch for our family and it was roughest on him. We did our best to stand by him and two young widows with kids of their own.
His struggle is now utterly personal.
I called my own daughters from the hospital last night to break the news about Grandpa. Telling your kids that your own father is very ill and may die soon has a scary sort of symmetry. My own mortality jumped up in front of me that moment and slapped my cheek. One of my kids is also a Kossack. She is known around these parts as knitolitics.
After Mrs. ruleoflaw and I got home from the hospital last night, we checked our messages, email, etc. We discovered that knitolitics had posted a youtube video on her facebook page, commenting, "...makes me think of (ruleoflaw) all the time."
Struggle is bearable when you know you are not alone.
I'm surrounded by people who love me.
I always wanted to be like my Dad and now I guess I am.
I leave you with that video.