Julie was a high school friend, and we graduated together 30 years ago. A common story, we went away to different colleges and never kept in touch, until we became friends on Facebook a few years ago. We are both Progressives, and hit the "Like" button often for each other's political posts as well as family events and funny stories. But Julie's posts over the weekend inspired me and brought tears to my eyes.
On Friday, this is what Julie posted:
"My 81 year old Dad got out and voted today! You can too!" The caption hovered above an amazing picture of her father, Gene, in his hospital bed wearing a huge smile and an "Obama-Biden" button on his shirt next to his sticker that proclaimed "I voted".
Julie wrote about how excited her father was to vote for President Obama, how impatient he was all morning, and how it took two large guys to get him and his oxygen into a wheelchair and into a car to the polls to vote. Julie wrote to me later of her Dad's determination, and how waiting to vote seemed so important this year. We all "Liked" the photo and there were plenty of comments about how cool it was that he had voted.
Yesterday Julie posted to Facebook again: "Sooo everyone is hearing how my Dad got out of bed and went to vote yesterday. This was very important to him, and I think the main thing he was hanging in there to do. He passed away this morning 3:40. I am sad, but Man, what a way to go! Love you Daddy!" She said he died peacfully in his sleep.
So when you see the votes get tallied in North Carolina tomorrow night, know that one of those Obama/Biden votes was the last patriotic act of Gene, Julie's Dad. RIP Gene.I'll be thinking of Gene, Julie, and their North Carolina family as I watch President Obama's re-election speech tomorrow night.