My very first post on this platform was on August 1, 2007. Ten years ago, my oldest was six, and my youngest child, now seven, was truly just a wish in my heart. We'd just moved into a townhouse and I'd painted my boys' room a loud combination of primary colors--a townhouse we now live in once again, coincidentally. The Army has a way of bringing people back to old duty stations, and the DC area is a vortex. This is our third time in this area, making this tiny townhouse of ours truly a place my kids can call home.
This blog has also been my home. It's the space where I've put my feelings down, and at one point in time, at least a couple of posts a week. But as I continued to write my stories out in fiction, my writing time here has been sparse. Because everything here, on this blog, is nonfiction.
It is truth as I know it.
So what's true for me?
I was an avid volunteer as a child. I enlisted in the Army at 17 after a summer in the Philippines, when I grew to appreciate how much we Americans have here in the country. I enlisted out of patriotism. I'm a mom of four mixed-race kids. I'm a wife to a military man who carries my same ideals--ideals that this country is every bit our effort to fight for. And I do believe my husband and I have passed this sense of obligation to my children. My hope is that they will grow to serve this country through the military or volunteerism in their community. Everyday, I fight. I fight to keep hope in my family, to keep my marriage strong. Tiny struggles, big obstacles: ask anyone of my milspouse friends and they'll tell you the same thing. We fight in our own way to keep the Homefront stitched together.
I pray, too, of course. But I fight with my everyday actions. I give it everything I have.
What does that mean, now with our current politics?
It means I continue to do what I have been doing, what I do best: I fight, within my sphere and energy and possibility. I fight by showing my children we all have a right to be here. I fight by teaching them history. I fight by giving them the breath of culture I can pass down.
I fight by writing stories that are true to my heart. I fight by sticking up for people who are hurt. I fight with my presence, with my contributions, with every word that leaves my mouth and fingers.
It's because I've had to fight for myself, to raise my chin when I've been discriminated upon. I've experienced good ol' racism, sometimes in the sweetest of ways that it hurts your teeth.
Because there have always been these bad things in the world.
It's just that now, so many people who have been in the dark are seeing it.
It's just than now, you can see what happens when people are silent when others stoke the fire of hate.
Lots of people cherry-pick MLK's words, and sometimes only focus on the word love. Well, listen, my friends. There are more to his speeches than love. He talks about the devastation of being silent. Of being too comfortable to be true good neighbors to one another.
You have to love people enough to do something about it. You have to love humanity enough to want to make it better.
Love others just as God loves you.
If you are the prayerful sort like I am, then that line should be enough.