The idea for a mask depicting a flag with a tear came to my mom in May, as she sat in tears in the comfort of her home, thinking of all the selfless dedicated hospital staff and frontline workers suddenly deemed essential who have continued to risk their lives for all of us. So she crafted this mask:
A few weeks later in June, she sent this picture to her friend with a print shop who encouraged her to put the image on a t-shirt. Not one to ever squander an opportunity, my mom decided to elevate its purpose and meaning and turned it into a campaign shirt for future President Biden and sent it to several people who she thought might appreciate it and has made donations to the campaign each week. A couple weeks later on the phone she mentioned, "You know those shirts I had made? Well, several people I sent them to asked if they could get some for the rest of their families, neighbors, coworkers, friends. Do you think they want me to send them more?" I assured her, "Absolutely not Mom! I'm sure they want a link to buy them for the people in their lives. Hey, I'll just set up a site and you can send them the link." In the meantime, as a devout Catholic who believes in the power of prayer, she's devoted to saying a daily rosary for Biden-Harris and at 6pmEST partakes in a daily interfaith prayer group with participants from across the country.
For my part, little did I know all what was involved, but here we are! I wanted to help advance this initiative in any way I could. This administration has stolen our sense of security, but now also our actual time together. Since we learned that we must stay home to stay safe to keep each other healthy, it really upsets me thinking of all the precious incalculable time that we have missed in the physical presence of my parents, enjoying long conversations, hand-in-hand, wrapped in hugs. I even miss the 3 hour journey each way with a packed stroller via NJTransit to visit for long weekends, full of anticipation for the magical in the mundane: eating the best home cooked meals made special for us, salads mixed to perfection, and stove top popcorn galore. Time together we can never get back. Their delightful grandson's language has exploded these last months too...our growing son, who's now speaking like a big person full of earnest opinions, acute observations and thoughtful questions. In late July, he joyfully celebrated his 4th birthday with family over whatsapp and zoom. The mere thought of our required separation, albeit temporary, fills me with immense sadness, frustration and longing, yet quickly devolves into despair for the children that this administration has kidnapped from the arms of their mothers, fathers, and loved ones with whom they came to OUR borders seeking refuge, asylum, safety and opportunity to make a real living...exactly like so many of our ancestors did that made all our lives here possible. And yet, governors and other local leaders have been left to their own devices without sufficient resources or reliable information to combat the actual and current threat to our lives: SARS-CoV-2. This administration's continual refusal to enact a nationwide plan and strategy impedes every individual, community and state effort to contain and mitigate the effects of Covid-45. Instead the federal government has created needless mass undue financial stress, institutional chaos, enabled misinformation and confusion to propagate, caused millions of infections and (at the time of my writing this) killed nearly 200 thousand of our neighbors to date. Bottom line, the current occupant of the White House was infinitely safer for us all when his fans could tune in to watch his reality show and we weren't all forced to participate in it. This said, I struggle daily to not let the very real covid-fatigue get the best of me, but to remain part of the solution to keep those we love safe for as long as it takes, even when every part of me just aches to be in my mom's arms again.
So in this vein, here I am launching this site for my mom, for me, for all of us, even though I had no idea where to start, I committed to figuring this out. It took me 2 1/2 months to get here (9 weeks longer than I though it would). But this feels like my opportunity to be part of the solution, my grain in the sand....to make a move and stop feeling like a deer in fast approaching headlights.
We can hardly wait to see pics of you wearing your t-shirt and we're eager to help magnify this movement by joining forces with you who are also ready to see our country UNITED, HEALED and BUILT BACK BETTER: