A letter for my daughter about Clementa Pinckney

Grace Beahm/The Post and Courier via AP
Grace Beahm/The Post and Courier via AP

On Friday, I left you with your dad and headed to work, stepping out of a hot, sunny morning and into my office.

When I left, hours later, to head back home to you, it felt as though I were stepping into an entirely different world. Wind whipped my clothes and hair; the sky was heavy and low; my heart felt full but also broken. I felt changed, somehow, as a person, as a citizen of the United States, and even as a mother.

Why? Well, when I sat down at my desk for what was to prove one of my more distracted workdays of all time, I learned that the Supreme Court had legalized gay marriage in all 50 states. With a decision ending in four words, “It is so ordered,” a measure of long-delayed justice was delivered at last. I wanted to run around in circles and scream and shout with joy. Instead, I sat quietly and read jubilant Facebook posts. I basked and sniffled. I watched Barack Obama give a speech we could barely have imagined just a few years ago. It was like Christmas.

Then I watched him eulogize the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, shot along with eight others at a Charleston church eight days before in a horrendous act of racist terrorism. My ears belonged to our President, but I couldn’t take my eyes off that casket in front of him, that casket that should not have been there, that casket whose occupant was meant to continue doing great things. Continue reading A letter for my daughter about Clementa Pinckney