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Near The Lincoln Memorial's Sacred Stair, A Woman Wasn't But Was There.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
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Near The Lincoln Memorial's Sacred Stair, A Woman Wasn't But Was There....
I am honored to know close to a dozen women who traveled to DC from near and not-so-near yesterday to be a part of the Women's March.  I know dozens more who participated in their own cities.  Their stories have been told, and will continue to be.

So I'm here to tell one from the perspective of a woman who was in my life about as long as any, who I lost but then regained touch with, only to have it taken away mere months later.

Janice's younger son Ethan posted about his experience at the Women's March in DC yesterday. I repeat it in its entirety:

Today I came to DC to participate in the Women's March on Washington. I was elated to be there, but I knew coming down there'd be some melancholy for me. One of the last major memories I have with my mother before she got sick at the end of 2009 was attending the inauguration of Barack Obama. We shared cookies with the people around us, we took selfies, and we shared in the hope of true democracy. I felt the hope of true democracy again today, and I think there's a very bright fire burning in the world that bodes well for 2017. Simply put though, I wish you were here. You deserved to be a part of that history. You still are, we were here 8 years ago and the spirit was much the same. In all the brave bold kind and loving women around me I saw a bit of you.

I miss you Mom, now maybe more than I ever have before. You too dad. You both deserved to be there.

We always want to find silver livings and put positive spins of affirmation on things, but sometimes it's proper just to feel and be with your mourning. That I'll do for myself. For everyone else though I'll say what anyone who knew them already knew: they were absolutely and vibrantly alive in all the people marching around the country today, they were there in all the friends and family, especially the students, who were told maybe for the first time that they were the future and would change the lives of everyone they met.

I just wish I could've had them walk by my side today--and for all the universal love joy and solidarity around today,for myself--I was heartbroken. Wish you were here.



She was, Ethan. You take her everywhere you go- as, to a much lesser extent, so do I.

It was later in that first year of Hope, brought  by Obama's first inauguration, that I reconnected with my literally oldest friend in the world. She, not quite a month older, brought to the same Sunday School nursery and she and I eventually becoming partners in Christian crime for the first 18 years of our lives.  Our paths diverged- she coming to Buffalo before me and leaving before I got there- but in 2009, through the miracles of social media, I got back in touch- and when she told me she was speaking at a conference at a SUNY campus an hour south of here, we had our chance: I met her at the Buffalo airport, drove her down the 90, and joined her for a drink and dinner and many memories of things we'd shared and missed since high school.

And just like that, she was gone.  February of 2010 brought the end to a short but incredibly painful fight against one of the meanest nastiest forms of cancer ever devised by our DNA.  I drove into the aftermath of a raging snowstorm (for once hitting Long Island rather than us) to be with our old friends and her family for the memorial service to her.  Many of us have kept in touch in small ways since, but Ethan's post from yesterday was the biggest and best tangible reminder of what Janice believed in and how important it is for it still to be believed.

Her email address had the word "empathy" in it. Every time I start an email to our daughter Emily, as soon as I type the second letter of her name, "empathyjanice" still comes up as an autosuggest. I am never going to remove it- or her from my consciousness, or from the person I am who I would not be if we had not been friends for so long.

----

One of our usual Bark Park congregants was absent this morning because he was at the March in DC yesterday. Another is recovering from surgery; a third had other plans for the day. So Ebony and I were largely on our own in a park that, fittingly, was quite in a fog on this morning of mixed emotions:



We never made it to Hidden Figures last night; Regal was kind about letting us switch out the ticket for this afternoon, even refunding the $2.50 difference between the night and matinee prices.  We're also starting to claim our entitlements to senior tickets, so take that, ya whippersnapers:P
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