Thursday, August 28, 2008

Iconic Moments

I remember clearly, my grandfather, Big Ray, scooped me up out of my grandmother’s bed and gently placed me in front of their small, black & white TV. I didn’t really understand what was going on because when I caught a glimpse out of the living room window it was still dark on St. Albans Street in South Philadelphia. It wasn’t yet morning, but Big Ray insisted we watch what was about to come on the television screen. Moments later, I saw the grainy image of the first American astronaut walk on the surface of the moon. I was only four years old and I don’t remember being excited, only a desire to go back to bed.

February 11, 1990 I whooped and hollered, shook and shimmied as I watched Nelson Mandela triumphantly join his family and nation as he was released from Robbins Island.

Eleven years later on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, I was pregnant with Yannick, preparing to drop Olivia off at preschool and make my way to work when the telephone rang. It was my mother asking if our television was on. It was, Olivia was checking out Elmo on Sesame Street. My mom urged me to turn on the news and as I tried to digest what I was seeing, I called for Loverman to come into the room and just as he approached we watched in horror as the second plane crash into the World Trade Center. It was incomprehensible. I wasn’t sure what was happening and after watching the news for just a few short minutes, I returned to going about the business of getting my day started. Looking back on that morning, I cannot believe Loverman and I went ahead and dropped our little girl off at school and proceeded to work. It wasn’t until I sat at my desk did I begin to realize the severity of the situation. I was in shock and as I continued to process all that was happening, I immediately felt the need to gather my family close. I cried for days sitting in front of the television, wondering how could we possibly bring another child into this mad, mad world.

Three years ago tomorrow, Aug. 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated America’s Gulf Coast and again I sat paralyzed in front of the television as I watched thousands stranded…no, abandoned in the world’s richest nation for over a week.

Tonight I’m primed and ready to witness what may be the most iconic moment of American history in my lifetime--- Barack Obama accept the Democratic nomination for President of the United States of America, and just as my grandfather felt compelled to wake me to see that iconic moment on April 20, 1969 for myself, I, too, will sit with my two children and celebrate this most auspicious, historical occasion. YES WE CAN!


jillybean said...

Mango Mama,

We woke Princess up so she would be able to see Barack Obama accept the nomination for President of the United States of America by the Democratic party. It was a moving speech. I cried. We grinned. We listened. We prayed. We know that there is hope. YES WE CAN!

rebecca said...

In A Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;

Petals on a wet, black bough.

-----by runescape gold