A Long Time Coming

Deborah Slager   —  

Back in the late 60s, I read a magazine article about this young woman who, when she gave a graduation speech, challenged a sitting senator and her peers to look at things in a different way. I thought, "Wow, how could she?" Then I thought, "Wow, how did she?" My high school senior self was very impressed. It wasn't until some time in the 90s that I connected Hillary Clinton to that speaker and article.

I followed her for years as she took on role after role in service of our country. We seemed to share a similar set of priorities: children, women, education, those less fortunate, and service. I watched her endure and take on wave after wave of challenge and people and organizations that were out to destroy her and what she believed in. She fell down a couple of times, was declared dead more than once, but by golly, that woman got up and tried again and again. Watching her dismantle a Congressional committee was like poetry...or a good women's basketball game.

I felt her presidential loss viscerally; it was like a repudiation of everything I had believed and worked for all my life. Those months right after the election...Rough, seemingly hopeless. But then, the day after the inauguration, all those people marching, led by women; millions, and no violence. It felt like a passing of the torch to me...This is how it's done; this is how we bring change. Oh, but we elders, we are not done yet, sister, not by a long shot. It's the elders' responsibility to teach and that always starts with listening...and maybe a cup of tea and some cookies.

So when you're done walking in those woods, Hillary, you just let us know. You still have us and we've still got you. I had hoped to shake your hand one day and thank you for devoting your life to our service and to being our voice. I hope this letter will suffice.