I'm With Her: My Hillary & Mom Story

I am voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton for President. It has nothing to do with walls, e-mails, tax returns, embassies, minorities, or political parties. It's a mom thing and here's the story.

Many elderly in nursing homes or assisted living facilities feel like they are dropped off to die by family members who can't or won't take care of them any longer. They feel like life has passed them by. They are in the waiting room between this world and the next. The weekly arrival of an ambulance to take away a room mate who never returns, or hearse to carry out the body of yet another resident confirms this.

Such was the case in late 1990's for my own mother Shirley when I became her legal guardian and brought her to an assisted living home on Long Island, New York. She had suffered with an illness for many years and needed 24 hour medical supervision in a way I was be incapable of responsibly providing for any other way.

Under proper medical supervision and monitoring she blossomed in her sunset years. As if emerging like Rip Van Winkle from a long sleep she bounced back and became vibrant, competent and alive. I visited her often, and at long last was able to take her on trips, to plays, movies, dinners, and greatly elevate the quality of her life. It is one of the most, if not the most important thing I have done in life.

In 2000 I brought Shirley to a fundraiser for President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton during their final year in The White House. Because my mother couldn't stand for hours in the airplane hanger that served as a makeshift auditorium, they offered her a chair along the front row. After speeches and music the President & first lady went along the front row shaking hands and taking pictures. My mom was photographed with Bill and I, and then alone with Hillary.

Back at the assisted living home, the staff saw the photos and instead of posting on the bulletin board of residents social activities, framed and positioned the pictures on the table at main entrance for all coming and going to see.

It wasn't a liberal or conservative statement. It was a human statement. Most residents felt shuffled away from the real world, no longer part of the vitality of life and current events. These photos symbolized that even at the end of life a resident can still touch those who are leading the world. It was a healing balm to many who saw life only in the rear view mirror.

Soon after my mom called me with a vibrancy and joy in her voice I had not felt in decades. "You'll never believe what's happening. I am suddenly SO popular! Before, no one wanted to sit with me in the dining room, or talk to me. Now, everyone wants to sit with me. Some even started calling me Mrs. Clinton" she told me. I sat back and marveled. If I have done NOTHING else right in my entire life, helping my mom feel like a rock star in her late 70's was something that made this son very proud.

It is for this reason that I am casting my vote for Mrs. Clinton. Just meeting her gave my mother hope, happiness, a feeling of still being able to touch the world that is moving and shaking. There are many other reasons too, and I'll stay out of the news headlines that say she did this, or he did that referring to the candidates. My reasoning is quiet, internal, first person.

In another Huffington post story I'll point to marching alongside the former First Lady in New York City Gay Pride 2000. The first time in United States history when a sitting first family member marched openly in a Pride event. I recall back in the 1980's when President Reagan wouldn't even say the word gay, until his friend Rock Hudson got sick. Mrs. Clinton will again make history and prove that the American dream is still very much alive, and that America is indeed currently still great as ever despite what some may claim, by being the first woman elected President.