I've written almost no diaries. Others often say what I would want to say, and better. But I need to get some information out there about people who supposedly do not take responsibility for themselves or their lives. I want to set the record straight by using the example of an old, blind woman, my mother.
Come with me over the divide. We can get acquainted with a small, white-haired "tiger" who will blow Romney's opinions of who comprise the 47% to cinders.
My little mother would be over a 100 years old if she still lived. She was a ranch woman. She and my father kept ten of their eleven children alive and well in America's vast ranch lands.
Child-rearing took them to the point where most folks retired. They could not. They had been ranch people who had bought land and cattle high, then, caught in a bubble, were bankrupted. Along with their investment in ranch and cattle, went my father's health.
They were transplanted to the city. My father's heart, never strong, was in pain much of the time. Arteries clogged. He sat by the stove with frequent chest pains. He lived before angioplasty.
Even so, after they were transplanted to a strange city life, they both took jobs that had the misfortune of separating them for a week at a time, and took away their presence in their youngest child's life. Father became a watchman, mother a cook. Later, when father qualified for Social Security my mother quit her cooking job, and began to keep house and look after children for a business man. She was able once again to be in the same house as her husband during nights. Mother's wealthy employer did not put in anything for her Social Security, and paid mother the same as a teenage babysitter. So mother paid in her own Social Security. She did so until she got to a place where old and tired she had hit the place where she could quit and receive a minimum payment from Social Security.
She finished out the raising of her child, and the care of her husband until he died. Then she went blind, but not all at once. She could still see a little if the light was good. When her blindness came more fully, she waited until the sunbeam reached her small kitchen window. Then she took her checkbook to the kitchen counter, placed it in the sun beam, and wrote out the checks for the household bills: the house rent, the electric bill, the taxes.
My mother looked after my father in their home until he died. He had had only one brief hospital stay after his first heart attack. Fearing he would be taken to a hospital again if he had a second attack (thus generating a bill mother would have to figure out how to pay) he arranged his own burial in secret, and covered up the fact he was having crushing chest pains. He died, I think, because he did not want to generate any more medical bills they would have trouble paying.
This pair tried with all that they were to take responsibility for their own lives until they died My mother was so regular in her payments to her few utilities that when a check came to one of them that was in mother's hand, but without a signature, that utility cashed it. I think that was better than calling mother and embarrassing her. Mother would have been sad if she found out her kitchen counter check signing in a sunbeam was no longer working for her.
My sense is that Mr. Romney would not make a very good President because his view of the people of this country is narrow and twofold: his wealthy church which helps its own if those folks can swallow Mormonism and be the kind of Mormons that Romney and they like. His second is from a perch of extreme wealth, and a kind of privilege that has caused him to be sealed off from the courageous efforts of those who never make it to financial success.
I might add that my parents--both of whom were born at the end of the 1800's and never had more than a grade-school education, raised their ten children, two of whom earned PhD's, and several more with BA's and MA's. All became good Americans yet most will appreciate a social safety net, especially when life takes a rough turn for them, or they are disabled by age or bad health.
Wed Sep 19, 2012 at 7:23 PM PT: I want to thank people for their wonderful comments. The responses were open-hearted and made me realize that this election is a fight we must win because of the huge misperception Romney has of who the 47% are. Someone has to be there for those who struggle so hard to climb that ladder of life and may not make it all the way to the top.