Be the person who shows up. Be the person who continues to advocate for change because change is possible – it is possible in the most partisan of politics.

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Gretchen Dahlkemper
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Dear Tomorrow,

Today I fought like hell for your future. And I’m tired.

Today the America that I love so much is on the edge. The election is 5 days away and no one knows what is going to happen in just a few short days. Will the American public elect a narcissistic demagogue or will we pick the first female president that will work to combat climate change, fix our crumbling infrastructure and secure our health and safety?

Honestly, I have no idea.

Today you are 7 ½.

I’ve been away from you a lot lately. I feel the weight of being away from you like a heavy sack on my shoulders – and I feel the weight of the world as a second sack thrown on top. Your dad and I no longer live together but he understands exactly how I feel right now. He is there when I break down, when I question how the country that we love so much could be in the position we find ourselves today. Your dad and I, we can’t imagine anyone willing to risk your health and safety. We can’t imagine our leaders trading your health, your joy, your life for the campaign money promised by the biggest polluters.

Reny, it was just 8 years ago, during a very similar campaign season, that we found out we were going to be parents. We weren’t ready – we weren’t ready at all.

We talked through the options – and we are so grateful every day that we had options.

But we had you because we had hope. Hell, the entire country had hope in October of 2008. We had hope that our mixed race family would not only be the new normal but that our family would be accepted, protected, encouraged and ready to contribute without discrimination.

But the last eight years have been painful for our family, for families like ours, for all American families.

The election of President Obama peeled back layers and layers of hate, of racism, of fear. Kids were shot on the street. Communities rose up – only to be beaten down by tear gas, by fear, by pain.

And today that fear, that pain, that anger is on full display. And your world is at risk.

Climate change – the biggest threat to our world – is still being debated as ‘fact’ while your dad’s home in Miami is literally drowning. You ask me on a daily basis why your abuelos are voting for a man that refuses to address the burning of greenhouse gases; why he won’t address a scientific fact that means your children may very likely never see “Mommy’s-ami” where you played on the beach, tasted your first café con leche, and ate pastelitos until your stomach was about to burst.

I don’t know what is going to happen in 5 days my son. And I have no idea what the world will look like in 2050. But I will tell you what I told you the day you asked me how to convince your “Aba’ not to vote for Trump:

“You are good. You are kind. And you know what is right. If there is anyone in this world who can change our current path it is you. Keep showing love and keep fighting for the world you want to see. Be the person who shows up. Be the person who continues to advocate for change because change is possible – it is possible in the most partisan of politics, it is possible with the religious zealots, it is possible in every human being. Your job is to touch souls that need to be touched – whether they know it or not. You, my son, will affect great change in this world. Keep your head up and keep going. We need you.”

My dear son, tomorrow morning I will wake up and continue fighting for the next week – and for every single day until the day I draw my last breath. You, your sister and your brother, are worth every ounce of my efforts, every breath that I take, every beat of my heart. When your dad and I decided to begin our family we had hope and I hope that you never lose the hope that brought you earthside.

As your mama I hope that you and I will continue to work together every day to ensure a healthier and safer world for you to thrive.

I love you,
Your mama

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