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Sending Love with a Broken Heart

The morning after (Candace)

My dearest Andrew,

I’m so tired. My eyes hurt and my body aches. Partially because I haven’t slept and partially because I’ve been crying.

It’s amazing how one day can make such a difference.

Just yesterday, I walked off the airplane in San Diego to a beautiful blue sky. I felt such happiness and gratitude. I had just ended my six months with you in our little heaven, and was so excited to come home and see so many of our friends.

Cindy picked me up, filled me up with breakfast, gave me the first real haircut I’ve had in months and took me to my rental car. And as I drove north, I was full of hope. I went to the bank to try to make sense of our savings account and free our money to pay off bills, and then headed to the polls.

It was the perfect day for a presidential election.

I was excited to complete my ballot. I had looked up most of the issues (thanks to a great post from our buddy, Jeshua) and really felt I was prepared to vote this year. I knew my stances on school and road levies, school board members and legalizing marijuana (guess where I stood). And I was proud to earn my “I voted” sticker. Because I was proud of who I was voting for and all she stands for.

I then met up with Jeff and his mom, Johnnie, for dinner and caught them up on our travels. I so missed you, but loved sharing our memories and souvenirs with two people who love us both.

I knew that election results were rolling in, but was happily distracted for an hour or more in conversation.

But when I got back to Johnnie’s to rest for the night, I saw the shocking results rolling in. Trump had already secured 200 electoral votes, and it was becoming quickly apparent that Hillary could not feasibly reach 270. My heart froze. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

And adding insult to injury, Johnnie and a friend who was watching the results with us were both Trump supporters.

I felt so alone.

So I feigned that I was tired and went to bed. I just couldn’t bear witnessing this in the same room with friends who were celebrating. I sat in bed with the laptop open, crying silently.

I’m so very sad.

I’m sad that love didn’t win over hate today. I’m sad that little girls and boys around the country now have misogyny and elitism as aspirations to reach toward to become president. I’m sad that, as a woman, I am looking at the next four years to set me back by decades…in the workplace, in public policy, in leadership.

And I miss you.

I’m so mad that we cut our trip short to come home to this. That we left each other’s warm embrace to face this cold reality. Together, I know we can make it through anything. But today, as I sit alone in my pajamas, I feel overwhelmed with sadness and fear.

I know that we committed that, should this happen, we would fight for the issues we believe in, as US citizens, for the next four years. That we would invest ourselves more heavily in the nation we helped to build, because the country would need us more now than ever.

While my first inclination was to leave…to flee…to run away with you again…I know that we made this agreement so many months ago for the right reasons. And so I will commit to stay. To working to build our family together with you.

Here. In the US.

But please know how much I miss you today. And how much I need you now more than ever. You are a man of strong character. You work hard. You tell the truth. You show love in nearly everything you do. You are the man I am honored to stand next to. And together, we will be the parents that our children can look up to. We will be the role models that we know they need. And we will remain active in building this country that was great before yesterday and that can rebuild in four years.

I love you. I miss you.

You sad, sleepy puppy