With everything else that happened this week...
I was watching news so I happened to watch the entire press conference of President Obama expressing disappointment at the 54-46 "vote for" proceeding on a new background checks law that lost because of Senate filibuster rules. I am dejected, that our country has come to this.
Expansion of our background check law - to include those background checks at gun sale shows and for Internet sales - this is too controversial? Really?
Starting the press conference, and introducing the president, was Mark Barden. He is the father of one of the children killed in Newtown. He had worked to help get this law passed.
When he talked, my heart broke. I felt so bad that our Senate had let him down. Perhaps this is why one sentence he said stood out for me more than any other. He said, "Our hearts are broken. Our spirit is not."
Powerful to me in those sentences is that he switched from the plural ("hearts are...") to the singular ("spirit is...") and yet, in both, used "our." I don't know if he misspoke, or he intended it. But these two sentences, structured this way, switch so that individuals feeling the same thing transform into individuals uniting as one voice. I believed him, when he spoke. Some day - this too shall pass - and I mean that in every sense of the expression.
Here is an article on what he said: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/father-newtown-victim-introduces-obama-senate-vote-defeat-background-check-deal-article-1.1319708
Also powerful to me was the president's sigh as he took the podium. People are saying the president spoke more forcefully yesterday than they have ever seen him. When he took the podium, and gave that sigh, he expressed how I felt. When he started speaking, he put into words the words I would have said, had I had the heart to say words. In his demeanor, he spoke for all of us whose hearts were broken. As he spoke, I realized that our spirit can remain intact, just as Mark Barden had said.
I thank them all for their hard work - especially the work of yesterday, of standing at a podium and speaking in the face of despair (as they faced the truth that, on this day, the simplest of amendments could not be passed). They spoke with a determination that salved, for a moment, my broken heart.