Guest Blogger:
Karen Lindquist, Southern California 

Anita’s Note~ Kudos to my niece, Karen Roehrick Lindquist, who wrote this first as a comment to my post: My Letter to the Young Folk. Her powerful sentiment left me in tears. Lucky for us Karen agreed to having the comment published as a post to share with all of you. Many people are asking, “What do we do now?” After reading this you will have some ideas on that…

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist waits, expecting it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” ~ William Arthur Ward

Thank you for your continued guidance Aunt Anita…as I woke to my alarm last Wednesday morning and learned the “official” call, I had to pick my jaw and heart up off the floor, make my coffee, get out the door and get to the hospital where I take care of almost exclusively Latino families whose child is experiencing a serious medical condition. And when I got to my unit, the air was eery and thick. Generally I’m there before the kids wake up so I’m slipping into each room silently checking tubes and drains and medication and safety equipment before I ever see those little eyes open.

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On Wednesday the TVs in each room were quietly broadcasting various newscasts. Moms and dads and grandmas were soundlessly, dazedly watching. As I tucked and adjusted and straightened, I made eye contact with those parents and thankfully no words were needed as my heart had gone from the floor to my throat and there would have been nothing my voice could have produced. Each room, I did my checking and felt those parents and felt the weight of our new reality.


And then when Hillary spoke that morning, the unit paused and I watched with my Latino and black and Muslim and female colleagues and together we fought back tears and anger. And then the day marched on as it had to so we could treat, heal, and love those families. Then the week marched on and the waves of sadness, grief, disbelief, and fear have rolled in.

It’s traumatic. It’s traumatic to witness the destruction of our friends’ and neighbors’ civil rights. Just ask those who have come before us. We are witness to a(nother) surge of open white supremacy and hate speech. And it’s traumatic. As with all trauma it can be difficult to navigate.

I am encouraged by those who call for action and preparation…I like adjustments, I like tucks and I like plans. But I fear that calls for unity are delicately disguised calls for acceptance. I cannot accept. I cannot stand in the face of this and call it a difference of opinion. I’m not grieving because of our different viewpoints on social and political issues. I grieve because Trump’s hate rhetoric is bigoted harassment toward our vulnerable people and his election is a sign that—for at least half of our voting country—this is acceptable.

I thought only the fringes of society could possibly overlook his misogynist, racist, homophobic, sexist values and actually vote for him. This cannot be normalized, it cannot be woven into normal life. I am thankful for those who are called to protest and activate. For me, while I might not hold that picket sign, I’ll continue to be a helper. I will continue to help and love and value all different people no matter their race, religion, how much they have, who they love, what they believe in…I will be a helper…and lean on those who have been here before to help me.

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