Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Election Day

Today is election day in our city.

It also happens to be the first election since my dad died.

I expected to be a bit more emotional as I stepped into the polling booth, but this turned out to be one of those moments that you expect to be hard, but really isn't in reality. I'm sure it would have been different if he had been on the ballot of course, but today's election only represents what was to have been the half-way point in his term. 

Even so, my dad was so interested in this election and how it was going to change the face of our city council with three of the six seats up for election. He was so excited by the possibilities and some of the prospects of who he'd get to work with.

It's so hard to believe he isn't here to see it play out.

He did vote in the Presidential election last November. Interestingly, he decided to vote early one day after he got frustrated with a friend who was pushing him to vote for Obama. (He didn't, he went and voted for McCain.) At the time he told me, "you just never know... I might get busy and tied up with stuff on election day, at least this way I know I've voted."

His heart attack was Nov. 1, he was in the hospital on Election Day - but his vote counted.

It's hard to believe that it has been just a short two years since his own re-election as mayor. We worked so long and so hard on that campaign and for as long as I live, I will never forget the night he won. It didn't all end the way we had hoped, but I am eternally grateful that he was doing the job he loved when he died.

I will never look at a campaign sign or step into a voting booth again without thinking of my father.

But today, it felt really good to vote for the "next generation," so to speak... to vote for the people who are going to carry forward with the work my dad devoted so much of his life to. 

It was a small step, but it was a step forward.