Dear President Obama and First Lady,
I am going to miss you terribly. This past year has been a slow and constant mourning for the presidential era that you ushered in eight years ago. You were the first Black President for this country. I wept the day of your inauguration in 2009. I felt a hope that I have never felt before in my life on that day. I began to dream dreams that I never thought could be possible for my daughter. She would be born into a world where a Black President was a reality and not just a wish and hope for some far-off future.
In my lifetime, I never imagined that a woman could run for President. But it happened. Unfortunately, the results didn’t turn out the way that we had hoped for, but we still hold on to the hope that you have so often talked about. You have modeled a presidency full of dignity, character and grace. You have reminded us of our ever present privilege of civic duty as citizens – that we can not just sit on the sidelines in complaint, but that we must engage, take action and create the change we want to see. After all, in your last press conference you told us, “Democracy is messy and doesn’t always work the way you want, doesn’t guarantee certain outcomes. But if you are engaged and involved, then there are a lot more good people than bad in this country.”
The past eight years gave me hope that our America was changing and evolving. It made me feel that my daughter would grow up in a very different type of America than the one that I grew up in. It would be a place where the impossible was possible with hard work, kindness, character and determination. I suppose that is what my family felt when they first immigrated to this country. My father came to this country nearly empty handed, but with a heart full of determination, hope and an incredible work ethic. He rolled up his sleeves to learn a new language, go to graduate school and didn’t take no for an answer when it came to getting a job. He chased the American dream with all of his being.
And on your first inauguration day, I understood better that very sentiment of my immigrant parents because I felt those same hopes, fears and grit for my own daughter. It was exciting and the possibilities seemed so endless. We have come a long way, but we still have so much farther to go.
I have to admit that I am not looking forward to the coming transition of power, but I, too, will do the same for my daughter that you have done for your daughters – to continually teach her resilience and hope. When I think of our children, the future continues to seem bright. One day, they will be the ones leading this country and my hope is that they will continue to usher the same kind of grace, dignity, kindness and character that you and the First Lady have done so in the past eight years.
Thank you for your service.
P.S. Thanks for an awesome time at your final Easter Egg Hunt and opening up your backyard to us!