Get It

Let me tell you a story about my grandmother. This is a woman who left home at 19, first member of her family ever to cross the state line. She moved to the city, got an apartment with five other girls, and trained to become a nurse. She worked in what would now be called the neonatal ward of a small Catholic hospital, taking care of babies nobody else wanted. Sick kids, abandoned kids, kids who were dying of illness of varying levels of horror. She did this for years, until she married, at the age of 31.

She moved back to her small home town and kept a house and raised three kids, who came in different flavors of wild and crazy. Her door was always open to her neighbors, her porch had a flagpole and every Fourth of July and Flag Day there was a flag on it. The house was safe haven for anyone and everyone; come on inside and tell Grandma all about it. Her husband worked day in and day out at the factory and was mostly deaf before he died, came home covered in grease and carrying a black lunch box, in dark blue coveralls that smelled like oil. She teased him about the time he spent downstairs in his workshop making toys for his grandkids, about the sawdust smell and the mess, but she loved him and he loved her and they lived like the American dream of living.

And it was hard. The kids got into trouble; the son grew his hair long and went to rock concerts, the youngest daughter ran with a smoking, drinking crowd. Her brother died young, too young, and another sister succumed to demons raging inside her head. But she held her head up and she held her husband’s hand at the hour of his death, and she gave everyone around her the strength to carry on.

You do not want to mess with Grandma. She’s cooked and served bigger meals than you before the sun is fully up in the morning.

MoveOn understands that. Go watch their new ad and give what you can.

We like to shout and call for action here, light the beacons, wait for the answer. We like the battle. But we can’t forget that behind the strategy, behind the posturing and the slogans and the signs, there are reasons why we do this. Reasons we vote and donate and work and write. Social Security isn’t about “winning” or “sticking it to Bush.” It’s about making sure Grandma never has to go hungry, because in her lifetime, she made sure nobody else ever had to, either.

A.

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