I started this post Sunday. But I kept feeling like how I felt, WHAT I felt – was too BIG for this Blog – maybe just too much. Or maybe the blog was not the place – would my words be redundant?…unproductive…and then…
I just stopped THINKING so hard.
CHARLOTTESVILLE has been my home for almost 25 years. All three of my children were born here, in the hospital where I worked for 15 years…bringing babies into the world. My husband I chose to live here, knowing we were putting ourselves a fair distance from both of our families…which has not been easy and can be isolating in times of need…but we KNEW , after just a few months that THIS place was where we wanted to raise our family.
This place, starting with the Rotunda and ending with the people – is Amazing. Yes, we are a community of human beings, thus – we are far from perfect, but we live our lives working towards a community based on a foundation of inclusion, equality and most of all LOVE. People are nice here. People talk to you here – at the gym or in the grocery store. I NEVER go anywhere and NOT see a face I have known from somewhere…be it nursing, or the little gym or painting or from the soccer sidelines. I LOVE THIS TOWN.
It is our home.
Charlottesville is place where hundreds of people who believe their lives can be enriched by becoming a citizen of this wonderful country, make the trek to Monticello to become American Citizens…a task which can be accomplished in ceremonies all over the United States – but doing so HERE, where Thomas Jefferson lived – is something incredibly special.
My neighbor Nancy has lived on my block for most of her 89 years. In the middle of telling me a story – she just stood up and pointed to the Mountains and said “I suppose I could have lived somewhere else – but every day when I wake up and every evening when I go to bed – I look at my Mountains and I think – this is the most beautiful place in the world”.
I agree with Nancy.
I love this town. I love this country. This is my Home and I will do everything I can to protect its integrity as a symbol of what is GOOD and RIGHT.
The Constitution states..” We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
I share the frustrations of so many of my fellow citizens, baffled at the lack of outrage and leadership on the part of the one person who actually has the power to set some things straight…I get all tangled up in my anxiety and fear and fury…and I look to the who articulate the issues …and I found, among the many reflections – this…and it spoke to me:
Here is an excerpt from an essay entitled “Racism and Charlottesville” written by Julie Reynolds McNitt
“But remember this isn’t a story about drowning. It is a story about rising.
As Peter begins to slip beneath the surface he cries out, “Lord, save me!”. Immediately, Jesus reaches out his hand and raises him up. The wind ceases, the storm abates and the waves go still. Those in the boats say to Jesus, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Maybe we speak out against hate when we see it and hear it. Maybe we love our neighbors better. Maybe we pray for those who are oppressed and for the oppressor. Maybe we attend a rally or make a donation to a worthy cause. Maybe we send a letter or make a phone call. Maybe we hug someone, or apologize to someone or bring someone a meal or mow their grass.
We don’t think our way to hope. We take action. We take a step in faith towards love, and when we start to sink (which we will) we cry out to God and God will raise us up because that it what God does. God will raise us up.
Thanks be to God. Amen”.
I, Lesli DeVito am broken hearted at the events of Saturday. But I am not broken.
Here in our home, Here In our nation. This cannot happen again.
As far as I see it….All there is left to do is To Love – as a verb. LOVE .