Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Proud to be American

I remember when it was announced that Obama had won the election.  I was in my apartment's living room, trying without success to get Madi to eat something.  Begging and pleading with this child of mine to take in something, anything, to nourish her sick body and help her heart be as strong as it could be.  As Mr. President stepped up to make his victory speech, I got chills.  I got goosebumps.  And I cried.  Hard.
For me, it symbolized hope and health for Madi.  You see, the biggest worry in my life is getting the proper medical care for both of my kids.  With Sydney it's not such a hurdle, as she is healthy.  Madi is a bit of a challenge.  We are lucky enough at the moment to be on Minnesota Care insurance.  We pay a monthly premium just like with any other paying insurance plan.  Without the MNCare, Madi would not be here today.  So I always wondered what would happen as she got older.  We all knew insurance companies do not take on people with pre-existing conditions.  With Obama's new healthcare laws in place, I no longer have to worry about that.  He has made it so that she cannot be denied the care she so desperately depends on. 
Let me be clear here: I do not agree with every decision that the President has made.  I don't agree with every decision any leader makes.  I know that so many hate him, and it makes me very sad.  Every president in history takes on the previous president's failings as well as their successes.  The only thing people see, though, is which things don't get fixed rather than which ones do.  For that reason, I am a firm believer that no matter who is sitting in the Oval Office, it is imperative that as Americans we all band together as one country.  All this disjointedness is what gets our country in trouble.  Think about it:  if there was a major split and conflict of interest between the members of, say, a baseball team, how would they function?  Not very well.  We need to be unified in the belief that America is the best place in the world. 
Case in point:  I have a friend whose daughter has Down Syndrome.  She is loved like you would not believe, and a treasured addition to their family.  She gets the best medical care and therapies that her family can find for her, even if it means driving a distance to get that for her.  In other countries, kids with DS or other serious medical conditions are sent to an orphanage.  If they are not lucky enough to be adopted by the time they are around 5ish, they are sent to an institution to live out their days there.  Their only human contact is during essential cares, and sometimes these children are even tied to their cribs.  What kind of life is that? 
When you want to take a shower, what do you do?  Just turn the water on and get in, right?  This is a luxury that many people all over the world do not have.  Many people walk for miles every day just to get enough water to drink and cook with.  A lot of that water is full of diseases that kill many people every single day.  These are all diseases that are easily preventable, and again, something we don't usually think twice about.   Here we have access to clean water, food, good schooling, clothing, technology, electricity, and medical care.  Yet for so many, it's not enough.  There are too many people out there who are so stuck on their material things that they don't realize what a blessing their life is.  They aren't proud of their country.  And they should be.  Maybe we're not always the home of the brave these days, but we still are the land of the free. 
It's time to stop taking it for granted and band together as one country, there for each other, grateful for the priveleges we as Americans have.

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