My ballot arrived on October 24 and I cried beside my mailbox, holding the decision we’ve been waiting for in my hands.
The weight of it was palpable. Despite the thin elections envelope, this parcel was momentous. It felt larger than the moment, larger than me and at the same time perfectly small. I carried it inside and could not bring myself to open it there in the informality of a messy kitchen. So I placed it on the counter and I waited.
The first woman on the ballot for President of the United States is not a small thing. We are on the cusp of history. We are living legend. We are the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the suffragettes who wore white suit-dresses and fought valiantly (and the men who stood beside them) against a tide of misogyny in order for us to have this right. They are the reason this ballot arrived in my mailbox addressed to “Ms. Laura Lowery” and they are smiling down on all of us now. I could feel them as I made my mark, there in my living room by the dawn’s early light.
That famous line in the Declaration of Independence reads, "...all men are created equal." You know the one. Somehow we grew up knowing "men" did not mean "males." We grew up with the knowledge that this particular word was endowed by its creator with a certain inalienable definition that encompasses all human beings. Mankind includes women.
None of our historical heroines or heroes have ever been perfect. What they have in common is not a life beyond reproach or without mistakes. No. What they have in common is a strength of character defined over the arc of a lifetime that bends toward service, justice, compassion and altruism. It requires great courage to live this kind of life, for there will always be loud detractors banging the walls, defining us by our lowest moment. Sometimes the loudest one is the voice inside our own head. I want to be brave enough to get up each day and do better. This is what heroines do.
Today I voted for my great-grandmothers, who were born before women even could. I voted for my two-year-old niece, who will never know a time when a woman had not yet become president. I voted for a woman I am proud to support and consider to be a heroine already.
Tomorrow, there will be more work required of us. There always is. We will roll up our sleeves. Strong women (and men) do this.
Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them. May we vote for them. In the words of a courageous one, it takes a village, and some girls are born to lead, and we are stronger together.
Go vote for a strong woman!