My parents are in their 70s, but still independent and healthy enough that they don't need any extra care from me. My children are old enough to do most things for themselves, but still young enough that I'm not worried they're out drinking and driving. It suddenly occurred to me that I only have a handful of years like this and I'd better appreciate them.
Then yesterday my uncle died.
He was also my godfather and the first in that generation of my immediate family to pass away. That's hitting closer to home in ways I wasn't prepared for.
And then this morning I found myself watching CNN from the elliptical at the gym, as all the former presidents made their way to the inauguration. I was mostly doing fine, thanks to the fact that I was listening to a podcast instead of the television audio. But when Bill and Hillary Clinton walked down the stairs and out to the waiting motorcade, my feet just stopped moving. Couldn't tell if I was going to start weeping or vomiting, so I left.
I'm not going to waste word count on my thoughts about the President-Elect. But what I will tell you is that Hillary Clinton is my hero. Any person who can do what she is doing today -- with such grace and composure -- is the kind of strong I want to be. And that is all I have to say about that.
My uncle and I didn't agree on politics. At all. At some point I'm pretty sure he stopped emailing me because I responded to nearly every one of his forwards with a barrage of links to snopes.com or legitimate news sources using actual research to refute the click-bait craziness he was perpetuating. He liked to needle me for me fun, but that wasn't an area I was willing to play along.
But I did love my uncle and he absolutely loved me. And while I knew I'd never change his mind with a candidate campaign, I always knew that his heart was in the right place. I'm sad that I didn't do more to be sure my children knew him well, and I will spend the coming days telling them stories about him.
Today is cold, rainy and hard. But if Hillary Clinton can put on lipstick and white pantsuit, take a deep breath and go out into the world, then I suppose I can, too. I just might be wearing yoga pants instead.