Election Day four years ago, my mother stood with me on 19th Avenue in San Francisco, holding a "No on Prop 8" sign. Earlier in the day, she'd made get out the vote calls for the Obama campaign. The two of us sat together that night watching the returns come in, and she cried with happiness that Obama was elected, and with sadness that Prop 8 passed.
All that long, bitter campaign season she'd been getting treatment for stomach lymphoma. She went to her radiation appointments wearing a "Women for Obama" button that my friend Dawn in Michigan had sent her, and she always told me stories afterward of the other patients, techs, and nurses who were so excited by his candidacy. She was so happy, so involved, so alive.
On Inauguration Day, she was having a mastectomy for the breast cancer they discovered during the post-radiation scan after treating her lymphoma. I watched the ceremony on the television in the hospital waiting room. Her first words to me in the recovery room were, "Is he President?" I was so happy to be able to tell her yes.
It's so hard to believe that now, just four years later, she's been dead for over three years.
I miss you so much, Mama.