3 Big Things
I cried twice yesterday, and did my best not to cry a third time. Here's why:
Evidence that love prevails
I sure didn't expect to see in my lifetime what happened yesterday. Marriage became at last simply marriage. Not same-sex marriage or traditional marriage. Marriage. When I read the news about the Supreme Court's decision, it was as if the Berlin Wall was coming down again. Like a part of one's body that is always in pain, some region of my heart had learned to live with hurt for a long time. That hurt came from the very idea that this country, built on principles of inalienable rights, could withhold so fundamental a privilege from a segment of its people.
Yesterday, I cried. The tears were of joy. But they were tears of deep relief that the pain was gone. I didn't even realize it had hurt so much until that moment.
I am a woman who loves a man, so I will never know the depth of the pain that discrimination has inflicted on women who love women and men who love men. But if the pain I felt for them and for my country was any indication, I think it would have flattened me.
Now it is behind us, but we must never forget the wrongness of the many years before. Love will always prevail.
Who knew? I sure didn't. He paused to summon his courage, and then the first stanzas of heart-breaking beauty were lifted up in song before a congregation of mourners.
I never doubted the gifts of this man, not even when so many detractors would have me believe otherwise. But Barack Obama's voice yesterday was truly a surprise, a deep, resonant, confident surprise. Where has this voice been for so many years?
I was driving on the freeway when I heard our nation's president boldly and without accompaniment begin to sing Amazing Grace as part of his eulogy for another man who had been gunned down during a violent act of racial hatred. The emotions were so overwhelming, I had to pull off the road, because I could no longer see through the tears. Obama's voice pierced through something yesterday, and it was healing.
That moment is behind us now, but I'm pretty sure it will remain unforgettable. I would like to think that someday, again love will prevail.
My hubby picked up the first clue. The parking space kept exclusively for patrons of this tiny Chinese restaurant was gone. Ever the optimist, I suggested that maybe it was part of a new leasing agreement. But when we walked in the door, the air had altered. Min was nowhere to be found. Nor was her husband.
I can't begin to tell you the dread I felt. We've gone to Kwan's Chinese Cuisine for years. It's been one of those incredible little secrets -- constants, really -- that you share only with people for whom you have great affection. Kwan's is where you find red red pleather booths, plastic replicas of jade sculpture, daily specials at $6.99 that come in raised stainless steel dishes with domed tops, and best of all, two of the most reliably cheerful people I've ever known.
Min and her husband came to Minnesota from China one day before the biggest snow storm I've ever experienced in nearly 30 years in this state. And somehow they stuck it out for years. Min knows her regulars' first names and what they're going to order before they say the words. She's pretty much the only one who takes orders, and she moves around the place like a surgeon. Her husband, when he isn't cooking, can be seen hunched over the table closest to the kitchen practicing calligraphy or preparing green beans.
They and their restaurant have been comfort people, place, and food to my husband and I. But we managed to suss out with discreet questions here and there that they'd sold the restaurant, were taking a "vacation" in China, and their return to the US was uncertain.
Whoa. It was like taking a blow to the belly. But I managed not to cry this time. Maybe I was tapped out.
I don't know if I'll ever see Min and her husband again. It's hard to think those days are behind us. But to be sure, I will never forget them, and love will prevail.