MCDOWELL CREEK, Kan. - Here at the Christmas season it is so wonderful to spend time with family and friends -- to share the beauty. But the season also makes us miss even more the family members who are not here. In particular, I miss my mother, who died in 2008.
I thought of my mom last week when the movie my husband and I were watching was interrupted by breaking news: "The Senate has repealed Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell." I felt a surge of exhilaration: We as a society were rejecting one more form of discrimination!
Still, I could not help but wonder at the euphoria I felt. It was as if I had been suffering from an ache I wasn't aware of until it went away. I guess I was discovering that the adage about "an injury to one is an injury to all" can be literally true. I had been painfully aware of the injustice of allowing gays to risk their lives for our country, to offer us all their gifts and talents, only to be dismissed from service if their identities were revealed. Now it was like the old joke: "Why are you hitting yourself on the head?" "Because it feels so good when it stops." By ending anti-gay discrimination in the military, our country had stopped hitting itself on the head. And it felt so good!
But my joy came also from my mother.