It’s been an emotional week. As I read the angry comments — at liberal places like NYTimes.com — from Paula Deen supporters who feel she’s been given the shaft, I watched the Supreme Court of the United States strike down an important section of the Voting Rights Act (which, imperfect though it was, was the only protection against voter disenfranchisement that we had), and then, as I celebrated the end of DOMA, and the upholding of marriage equality in my own state of California — and as I watched my new feminist hero Wendy Davis take a stand for women’s reproductive rights (as one of my Facebook friends put it, “she did the damn thing.”), I roiled with emotion, moving from sorrow, to joy and back again.
The human family is a house divided. We’re divided by hate, by fear, and by our inability to recognize that the other is also the self. It pains me to bear witness to our simple inability to love. It should be the easiest thing, but we are twisted by rage, and broken in ways we’ve yet to take full measure of. And yet, even still, we are still walking forward, towards that beautiful day when we will recognize ourselves as members of a single human family.
The U.S. Founding Father’s envisioned it, even if they didn’t always live it. Martin Luther King, Jr. and so many others laid down their lives for it. They leave us their legacy and they leave us the staggering task of winning this war, not at the level of laws (or not there only), but at the level of the human spirit. It is a battle we will win in the annals of love. And so, it was with joy that I ran across the We Are The 15% Tumblr — a response to the Cheerios ad backlash — which in the simple act of sharing pictures of interracial couples and families takes a stand for love in all its forms. #LetLoveRule
Tags: Cheerios Ad, Cheerios Ad Controversy, Family, Interracial Families, We Are The 15%
Today is my father’s birthday. He would have been 83 today. When I think of him, I think of the way his eyes would light up when he looked at me. He saw me fully, believed in me, admired me (and taught me to admire myself), and loved me so deeply that his love sustains me still. Like all of us he had his flaws, but he had a beauty that ran so deep it rendered his every flaw null. He walked the extra mile, for me and for our relationship and, in so doing, bequeathed me with the greatest of gifts: the gift of knowing that I was truly and deeply and irrevocably loved. When he parted this life on April 22, 2010, a candle went out, but it left behind its beautiful scent. Today, the day he would have been 83, I remember him with a reprint of his obituary, here:
Tags: Family, Paul Lionel Puryear, Sr. Home & Family
Happy Valentine’s Day, luvies! I hope you’re surrounded by love — today and every day.
Tags: Family, The Life, Valentine's Day
This year’s Chanukah commemorates new beginnings for my family as I emerge from the ruble of protracted divorce to re-build a new life with my three-year-old and my amazingly patient and loving fiancé, Dane. My daughter Ruby does not yet comprehend the idea of being Jewish, and this year I am introducing to her the rituals of the “Celebration of Lights” since last year she was too young to absorb it. Dane, who is not Jewish, will be learning about the holiday right along with her.
At bedtime, Ruby asks me “what are you going to be for Chanukah, Mommy?” A plausible connection to Halloween, I suppose, which is still in the rear view mirror. I don’t have a real good answer and, to buy time, wholeheartedly endorse her plan to be a fairy. Since the family Chanukah party this year isn’t until the end of the week, the best I can do right now to show her that this week is different from all others is to make sure we light the candles each night. Sometimes it’s challenging to make it home in time from work, and Ruby gets to stay up an hour later so we can reinforce the ritual. As a single mom, I feel the weight of ensuring that these traditions get passed on to her. Luckily I have a supportive partner in Dane who cheers me on at the sidelines and makes sure the candles are in place as I skid through the doorway. I recite the prayers in Hebrew, “Baruch atah adonai, eloheinu melech ha’olam…” when my daughter stops me. “No Mommy, that’s not right.” She sings “Twinkle Twinkle Chanukah Lights” to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” which she must have learned at her ultra-conscious, all-inclusive nursery school. We sing her song, followed by the dreidel song, “Dreidel dreidel dreidel, I made it out of clay…” A dreidel is a spinning toy with four Hebrew letters, one on each side – shin, hey, gimel and nun – which are the first four letters of the Hebrew words “A Great Miracle Happened Here.”
Tags: Chanukah, Children, Community, Family, Hanukkah, New Beginnings