I will be honest here- I have been crying for two days. I wanted you to win. I dreamed of watching you accept the title of Madam President on Inauguration Day. You need to know that you did everything you could have done to achieve that goal; there was nothing more you could have done.
Of course I do not know you personally, but I am so very PROUD of you. You have spent your entire life trying to fight for us- for ALL of us, never mind color, culture, race, creed, or sex. You have fought for us all, and we are so much greater for it.
You allowed my two young sons to see a woman, who is not unlike their own grandmother and mother, work hard, study, learn, grow, and achieve her goals all the while helping others to achieve theirs. I'm sick that our next President does not reflect the values and goals of my family. In fact, Donald Trump is the exact opposite of who I'm raising my sons to be, so this loss hurts.
I am sad. I am angry. Yesterday I wasn't sure if I could get out of my bed and move forward. But then there was you. You got yourself up and out of your bed. You showered, probably ate a little breakfast, did your hair, put on some makeup, and you rose above all of this negativity, hurt feelings and broken hearts and you stood in front of the entire world, after losing the fight of your life, and with the strength of one hundred elephants on stampede, you told us all to not give up.
You accepted defeat with calm and grace. You gave your support to our President-Elect, even after he disrespected you a million times, called you names, and disagrees with almost every value you hold dear.
You told every little girl watching, like my ten-year-old niece who burst into tears when she heard you had lost the election, that they all mattered. You let them know that their time would come, and that just because that glass ceiling may not have yet been broken, it has been severely cracked right down the middle.
You paved the way for us, Secretary Clinton. You allowed me to go to my local polling place on Tuesday, and for the first time in my forty-six years of life, mark that box to vote for our first woman President. Never before have I so lovingly and carefully filled in a tiny oval. I left the middle school gymnasium that day smiling and realizing that I had a small part in making history. You did that for me, and I'm so very grateful.
Yesterday, when my youngest son, who is twelve years old, asked me if he could call Donald Trump a "jerk", instead of telling him that, actually, I'd like to call him something worse, I told him that we could not. I followed your lead and told my son that Trump was now the President-Elect and we would have to find a way to respect him, or at the very least, respect the office of the President of the United States. I let both of my sons know that we needed to make every effort to find the good here and go with that.
I told my sons that this new President will not change us or the way we live our lives. We will still volunteer at the homeless shelter in Detroit. We will still respect and love our friends no matter what race or religion they are. We will still believe there is good in this world, and we will be just some of the people who help spread that goodness everywhere.
My sons, my husband and I will still support a strong, educated, and hard-working woman who strives to push on that crack in the glass ceiling and watch it shatter all around us.
As you mentioned yesterday in your speech, even though I feel sad, even though we are suffering a painful loss, it was all worth it. We made history together, and you made it all possible.
Thank you for doing it. Thank you for getting up
on the stage, over and over, to debate a man who called you a "Nasty Woman", and who clearly did not know even half as much as you did about the job he's now been given. It could not have been easy, but you did it without losing your composure, which, to me, may have been the most impressive thing of all.
As I sit here and listen to the names of the possible people our new President is choosing to put in his cabinet and on his staff, most, if not all of them rich, white men, I will try to remain positive. I will try to remind myself of that wide crack in the ceiling and remember that, in four more years, we have another chance to make things right.
You did this for me. You did this for my sons. You did it for my niece.
When you feel down and you second guess yourself in those brief moments when you are alone, don't forget how many of us out here who have been made stronger and better because you chose to do something no woman has ever done before.
And also remember that over and above all the amazing things you have achieved in your life, probably the single best thing you ever did was raise a strong, confident, smart and loyal daughter who is now a mother of her own. When the going gets tough, take out a picture of your two grandchildren and remind yourself how proud they will be to know that their grandmother changed history in more ways than one.
Thank you. Thank you for your service to our country and for everything you've done for woman all over the world.
You can take a break now, if you so choose. We've got your back. No worries.
Tammi Landry-Gilder, Author, Wife, Mother, Blogger