The narrative of this election moves me to tears sometimes, sometimes to open sobbing. No, I’m trying not to give in to the angstyness that’s sweeping the Democratic blogosphere. Now and then I just get blubby, because there’ve been a lot of really emotional highs and lows. A lot of news stories that make my moods swing constantly, like a weather vane pointing first east, then west.
There’s no story more moving than the news that Madelyn Dunham, Sen. Barack Obama’s grandmother, has died. It seems like it was bad enough when Studs Terkel passed, but I had really hoped that “Toot” would be spared long enough to see her grandson victorious. She worked so hard and upended her life to ensure that he had a stable home in Hawaii while he went to school, and she was so proud of him.
She wears a lei in Heaven tonight. The official statement from the family:
“It is with great sadness that we announce that our grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died peacefully after a battle with cancer. She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility. She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances. She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and left this world with the knowledge that her impact on all of us was meaningful and enduring. Our debt to her is beyond measure.
“Our family wants to thank all of those who sent flowers, cards, well-wishes, and prayers during this difficult time. It brought our grandmother and us great comfort. Our grandmother was a private woman, and we will respect her wish for a small private ceremony to be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a donation to any worthy organization in search of a cure for cancer.”
I totally lost it at the end of the day – the news broke during the normal Monday rush of calls and stuff to get done, but as I sat in the car after leaving the office, listening to NPR’s afternoon coverage, I just broke down into sobs (no, I wasn’t driving at the time).
How terrible a thing to be on the brink of winning the race, and to get this news? And to go out and make the stump speeches and carry on for one more interminable day of campaigning. It just breaks the heart.
And it’s sad that both our lllinois Senators have lost someone dear to them just before the election. First Durbin’s daughter Christine, and now this. It adds a sombre note that makes all the electioneering seem completely artificial and pointless.