The Long Sad Farewell

It seems I just stepped back into the blogging world and already I am taking a hiatus…not planned, just other thoughts and activities have swirled around me lately.  Since my aha moment several weeks ago that I haven’t done enough to further causes I believe in, I decided to change all that.  Staying informed and researching volunteer opportunities is what has occupied my time.

I recently watched a program highlighting Barack Obama’s presidency and was reminded again of all that he accomplished for us, the American people, while under constant scrutiny and resistance from so many in Congress, whose main goal was to thwart anything he wanted to accomplish.  And tomorrow this man of unwavering courage and compassion, President Obama, will step away from public office and a new regime takes the helm, one so much different from him that it is difficult to wrap my head around.  But this post isn’t about my anxiety or fear for our future, and there is much, but rather a heartfelt farewell to a leader whom I will miss terribly.

So to you, President Obama, here are a few of my thoughts:

My heart is heavy as I write this.  I cannot believe that your eight years as the leader of our country is drawing to a close.  In many ways it has sped by, but at times for you and your family it must have felt like an eternity.

As a white woman I see that there has been some progress made on the racial divide in this country but at times when you faced obstacles moving issues forward, I wondered and suspected that the racial divide played a role, and for that I am deeply embarrassed.  Even so, these impediments seemed only to propel you forward more urgently, always with the vision of making our lives better.

I believe so many of us sensed, from that moment as we watched 1.8 million people lined up on a frigid January day along the National Mall, anxiously awaiting the inauguration of our 44th President, that this was a ground-breaking moment that we would forever look back upon with reverence, and I will.

Your speeches, always charged with emotion, so powerful, so eloquent, gave me hope.  You were not afraid to show your vulnerability, particularly after tragic events in our country.

The Sandy Hook tragedy, when so many young, innocent children lost their lives, seemed a weight almost too great for you to bear, yet you stood before us, tears wetting your face, bolstering us.  When you stood at the podium and sang “Amazing Grace” after the Charleston church shooting, your grace and compassion shone through above all else.  These are images I will forever carry.  During these moments I felt we had a glimpse into your soul, the incredible man that you are.

Your vision has always been one of unity and the intense desire to ease our burdens.  You know far better than any of us that your work is far from over, so it is now incumbent upon us to keep your vision alive.

When John Lewis, civil-rights icon, recently spoke about you, he said you “never gave up, never gave in…and kept moving ahead”.  Now it is up to us to carry that torch.

Farewell to you President Obama, and your lovely, courageous First Lady and family.  We will miss you terribly and we will be forever grateful for having you as our leader these past eight years.

Yes you did, and yes, we can.

Note:  All photos in this post courtesy of google search.

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49 thoughts on “The Long Sad Farewell

  • I so appreciate your sincere and heartfelt feelings toward our President Obama, LuAnn. Obviously, our thoughts are very much the same. You have embodied the essence of the man perfectly, in my judgment. Thanks for expressing your positive thoughts about him and the first lady also, they are very well stated…….

    • Thanks so much Roger and Gayle. This is a difficult night but together we will persevere. I am sad for this country to lose such a tremendous family in the White House but am grateful for the time we have had them and pleased for them that they can now get on with their lives. I don’t believe we have heard the end of the President and First Lady. Their beautiful spirits will carry us through as we keep their vision for this wonderful country in sight.

  • My heart breaks at what I know must happen tomorrow. I, too, have watched everything I could about President Obama and the family the last couple of weeks. Not one scandals in eight years! Seems impossible.
    There is no way our TV will be on to watch tomorrow’s what I am sure he will all the biggest, greatest, most wonderful, historic, world-changing event. After watching Elizbeth Warren do a most amazing job of showing what a very poor job he did in naming DeVos, I have very little faith in most of his other “drain the swamp” choices.
    My only hope is that he hangs himself by his words quickly and save us from being the laughing stock of the few world. In other words, get him out office as fast as possible. But, Pence isn’t a favorite of mine either.

    • Your words echo exactly how I feel Marsha. The fact that there were no personal scandals during the past 8 years speaks to the beautiful spirit of the man. And it is the integrity, the grace, the dignity of the man that we saw over and over again at the podium, not to mention the wonderful sense of humor. How President Obama managed to find humor with obstacle after obstacle placed in his way is mind-boggling. We will not be tuning in for the circus tomorrow. Unless Trump makes some radical changes in his approach, I don’t see how he will survive. And I agree with you, Pence worries me just as much.

      • We went sightseeing in El Paso. No TV for us either. We did watch the nightly news and heard about all the empty bleaches right by his reviewing stand. What a joke. God bless us!

  • You said it perfectly LuAnn. The Obama’s are the embodiment of class and dignity. John & Jackie have become my second favorite first family.

  • LuAnn, thank you for writing such a heartfelt, eloquent farewell to our President and First Lady. I have been proud to call Barack Obama my president these past eight years. He is an honorable man, a true statesman, and sadly, there aren’t too many of his caliber in our government. I trust that he will not give up, just as we must not. We must keep moving forward, and hold the vision of our country as we want it to be—a nation of people dedicated to peace, equality, truth, generosity, and compassion. (At least, that’s my vision.)

    • I could not have said it more eloquently than you Laurel. This is exactly what I am going to hold for this country, which I believe is President Obama’s vision. Let’s all have a wonderful, peaceful Womens’ March on Saturday.

    • Right back at ya Laurel! And I will keep the faith and President Obama’s vision for a unified, undivided, compassionate nation as I march on Saturday.

  • Beautifully said, LuAnn and never have I felt more hopeful for our country nor more proud to be an American than these past 8 years. President Obama represented optimism as well as the sense that WE could make a difference by working together – that teamwork mattered and that EVERYONE counted. Today I feel like the flags should be at half mast and the line from the song “American Pie” keeps running in my head: “The day the music died…” I have a feeling that the Obama years will be our own version of “Camelot.” Anita

    • I cannot agree with you more Anita. Having the flags at half-mast would be most fitting for today and as many days as that man is in office. I sincerely hope he does right by all Americans, not just the 1% at the top. But I can never respect the man who now sits in the Oval Office. There is no comparison between the 44th and 45th.

  • What a beautiful farewell to a wonderful family. I have often wondered how much more he could have accomplished if “the other half” had been willing to work with him. I am so afraid of what the next 4 years will bring & echo the feelings of Anita & Richard above

    • Thank you Karen. We will never know just what else he could have accomplished if the other side wasn’t focused on nothing more than blocking everything he stood for. We must stand today and remember President Obama’s vision for our nation.

  • You so eloquently have written about what many of us are thinking and feeling. I will miss this man and his family and the compassion and decency which has been the bedrock of his presidency.

    I am proud to be walking in the San Diego Womens March tomorrow in solidarity with thousands of others who are for human rights and progress. I’ll be watching for you among the thousands in attendance!

    • Thanks Lisa. I actually feel sad for those who could not see beyond their hatred and fear of having President Obama in office. They missed out on a beautiful family and wonderful role models, not to mention everything good he did for the American people. I will be watching for you as well tomorrow Lisa, although I know how difficult it will be to find anyone in that crowd. But that crowd…wow!!!

  • LuAnn, tears are in my eyes right now. Thank you for such a beautiful post. I will truly miss this amazing family and am trying so hard not to loose hope about what is happening today. I hve always been a fighter and now it seems will just have to fight harder. I too am joining many causes and groups. Tonight I’m going to ny first event. Thanks for a beautiful post.

    • My pleasure Nicole. We will all have to stand together and keep President Obama’s vision in our minds when we are having a rough time. Enjoy your event.

      • Thanks LuAnn! I was so incredibly thrilled to see the NY Times piece showcasing all the marches around the world! It brought tears to my eyes! I so wanted to go to DC Women’s March. So many of my friends went. I just couldn’t swing it but I was there in spirit. I heard it was absolutely amazing to be there.

  • What a beautiful post, LuAnn. I share your immense sadness, and like you, I have dedicated myself to continued learning, listening, helping, and speaking up for my convictions and beliefs. Thank you for your heartfelt words. Please don’t stay away too long. All the best, Terri

  • Lovely post….agree with it all.
    And also looking to make a difference.
    It’s been a sad and scary time, these last three months, but I am refusing to live with anger and hatred as life is too short! Will do what I can, when I can, to better this planet and try to find some inner peace.

  • As my heart right now feels so heavy with the departure of President Obama, your post touches on my feelings exactly. The contrast between what we had ( even though many Americans sadly failed to appreciate) and what we have now for four years, is very hard to come to terms with and to bear even thinking about!

    This is a beatiful tribute to in my opinion, the best president ever! Intelligent, focused, caring, humbke, funny, charming, thoughtful, and handsome. Michelle, best first kady ever.

    Thank you for this truly beautiful piece !

    Peta

      • The problem of course is that things are sadly only going to deteriorate from here on. I miss President Obama so much already. Just seeing his face and hearing his calming intelligent kind voice. Gone. Replaced by a person who is basically illiterate and probably certifiably mentally ill. It is heartbreaking.
        Peta

      • I also believe that things will deteriorate much more before they get better. I have to believe they will get better at some point or may as well pack my bags. That is a thought that is always a consideration for hubby and I.

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