The day after.

Dear Hillary,

I hope it’s okay that we are on a first name basis. I prayed with all of my might that I would be able to type “Madame President” today, but, as my parents taught me from a young age, we can’t always have everything we want in life. So, Hillary it is.

Here we are, the day after election day. November 9, 2016. I am having some trouble sorting through my thoughts and my emotions. Writing always seems to help me in these times and who better to pen a letter to than the woman I was (and still am) rooting for over the past few months?

I confess. I knew in the pit of my stomach that it was over – that he had won, as soon as the Florida race became nail-biting close. By the way, I got a manicure on Saturday. In retrospect, that was a poor decision.

I went to bed at 10:30pm last night. CNN was causing me too much anxiety to continue watching the election coverage and the results rolling in. You are a brave, brave woman for enduring the entire evening. I once thought I wanted to be a politician, maybe even POTUS, as a young girl. Now I realize I do not have the resolve nor the strength to do such a thing. You amaze me. But I digress.

I awoke at 1am, (unfortunately) checked the news and lay frozen in bed, praying with all of my might that you – that WE – would somehow pull off an election night miracle. Was this really happening? 3am rolled around and I cried. I cried out of disappointment. I cried for my grandmothers who would have been so proud to have a woman running for the highest office in the land. I cried for all of the young girls who wore pant suits yesterday and for the glass ceiling that was left unshattered and because I was damn tired of this election cycle. But mostly I cried because my worst fear had become real – Hate, HATE had won the election of United States of America.

I awoke this morning with a grief I have (thankfully) only experienced a few times in my life. It’s the type of grief that comes when a loved one passes. I didn’t expect to feel this way. Honestly, I didn’t expect the election results to turn out how they did but even then, I have never once felt this emotion outside of a death-related situation. I feel gut punched. I am in disbelief. I am scared. The more I think about it, the more I believe that I am grieving a false ideology I had about the citizens of our great country. I never once thought there was so much hatred. So much racism. So much misogyny. So much prejudice. So much ignorance.

How naive must I be!

Let me tell you a little about my day, Hillary.

I wanted to curl up in a hole, stay deep under the covers and pray that this was all a dream. But, as you can relate, I am a mama and there are no sick days in motherhood. My husband wanted to talk about the election before he left for work, but I told him I couldn’t handle it at the moment. I had a lump in my throat. As I fed my son breakfast, I messaged a few friends and was shocked to find I wasn’t the only one with this sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. I scrolled through that secret Facebook group you mentioned in your speech. If anything, that provided relief that I wasn’t alone in this mess.

I am a fitness director at a local gym and on Wednesday mornings at 8am I teach a killer spin class. (If you’re ever in Naples, please join me!) The LAST thing I thought I could do this morning was perform in front a fitness class. But I am a woman and we somehow always manage to pull our shit together and get done what needs to be done. I dropped my son off at daycare, allowed myself to lose it in the bathroom for 15 seconds, and then walked into class and I OWNED it. It was probably one of the best classes I have taught in a long time and my voice only cracked once. It was for you.

I somehow managed to make it through a meeting and the rest of my day without breaking down in public. After work I called my dad. I had texted him in the morning and told him I was struggling with the election and needed some words of encouragement. I think I managed to sputter, “I just don’t understand why I am feeling this way…” before totally losing it on the drive home. Thank goodness my son was asleep in his car seat. Our conversation reassured me that I was not alone. That the world is not ending. That our country has made faulty decisions in the past and yet we are still the greatest nation in the world. That we need to be vigilant and be the change we want to see.

For the first time in my life, I woke up thankful to be white this morning. How disgusting is that thought? I am repulsed just typing it in this letter. I have never been fearful due to the color of my skin. My son will have privileges afforded to him because he is white and he is male. My job of teaching him the importance of kindness, acceptance, inclusiveness, and love is even more important now. He needs to grow up understanding that diversity is what makes this country great and that he has a great responsibility to show respect for all kinds of people, not just people that happen to look and act like him.

Your concession speech this morning brought tears to my already tearful eyes. You apologized to us. But Hillary, that is what we do as women when something goes wrong – even if it isn’t our fault, we apologize. I know you feel as if you let us down. You most definitely did not. While you weren’t the perfect candidate (no offense – I never fully agree with any political candidate and we are all only human after all), you inspired young girls, professional women, mothers, grandmothers. You inspired and gave hope to my gay friends, to college men and women, to anyone who has ever aspired to do something and were told no.

I am not upset with the Trump supporters. I firmly believe everyone has a right to their own opinion and while I vehemently disagree with their beliefs and do not believe they accurately represent our country, I respect their decision. I am, however, extremely disappointed that so many people support hate. And I do not believe that hate, disrespect, ignorance or fear will ever rule this great nation.

Tomorrow will be a new day. I pray that as the grief subsides, we will stay united as a nation. That we will provide hope for our future.

I want to challenge you, Hillary. I want to challenge you and my fellow nasty women to take a step back and look at the broader picture. What can we do to make our world a better place TODAY? How can we show that love does indeed rule our land? And as 2020 approaches (and I pray it arrives sooner rather than later), I hope that we have a game plan in place to defeat hate. To defeat racism. To move forward, not backwards. To show our young girls and boys that kindness truly matters.

Thank you for listening and thank you for all you have done for this great country of ours.

Sincerely,

Ms. Rebecca Klapman

Wife. Mother. Christian. Healthy Living Advocate. Animal Lover. Florida Resident (I’m sorry). Chicago Cubs Fan. Citizen of the United States of America.

Comments

  1. such a heart felt letter, I love it Becky! I’m still with her!

  2. Fabulous letter, Becky! You nailed how many of us are feeling today.

  3. Amazing girl ! I think you’re right … what this day of mourning because even as Canadians I’m feeling a loss too – we as women must stop letting men push us around and tell us how to think and what to think ! Hillary put up with slot and never lost her cool … she is the example we use from this as showing love , confidence and strength … xo

  4. You perfectly summed up how I’m feeling today. Gut-punched, disgusted, sad, fearful, and guilty, because I was lucky enough to have been born white, straight, and privileged. It feels awful to know that as a woman, the very best will not be good enough to beat a terrible man. It’s blinding to realize how many people support hate and how many of them are cowardly about it. I have cried more times today than I have in the past year, and I’m holding out hope and love that those of us on this side can band together and fight for decency.

  5. Erin Ramsay says:

    Beautiful post on a heartbreaking day.

  6. So well said Becky. I found myself in a very similar place yesterday. Crying at work as various articles were coming out or people were sharing their stories in the secret group, and absolutely sobbing at my desk (as quietly as humanly possible) while streaming the concession speech. I find that as much as I worry what this means for America as a whole and for women’s rights, I find myself worried more about my friends who are part of the LGBT community (including my best friend from high school who is marrying her girlfriend of 10 years next summer and I get to be her maid of honor!) or any of my minority friends who don’t know what this could mean for them or their families or how they may be treated differently. I get so angry when I see some Trump supporters think this kind of mentality is ridiculous, but it’s REAL for so many people and it absolutely shatters my heart. I have said for quite some time this election wasn’t about republican vs democrat, this becomes an election about LOVE vs HATE.
    katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted…Be LoveMy Profile

  7. This. All of this. I completely wholeheartedly relate to all of it. The extent of the grieving I have been going through is actually shocking to me-partly because I truly did not think this would happen. It helps to know that I have friends like you with good hearts and sharp minds. We’ll get through this together <3

  8. This post described so much of what I’ve been feeling. However, not only was I let down but so was my 11 year old daughter. She so badly wanted Hillary to win and begged to stay up and watch more of the election. I didn’t let her but I promised I would wake her up when it was announced that she had won so that we could celebrate history together.

    I wasn’t able to wake her up and that shattered my heart. She came into my room the next morning and she knew from my face that Hillary had lost and she burst into tears. She was fearful and felt let down as she should be.
    Suzanne @ Mylifeisamix recently posted…Fun at the Pumpkin PatchMy Profile

  9. I love every word of this. I’m still crying. <3
    Sara recently posted…Coffee Date 10.4.16My Profile

  10. I absolutely love this. I feel like I’m just at the point where I can start talking about the direction of this country without tearing up. To live in a world so full of hate … But all I can do about it is be myself, be kind, and love everyone I can.
    Jessie @ Just Jessie recently posted…Weekend Recap: The Calm Before the StormMy Profile

  11. This is absolutely wonderful. I was right there with you on experiencing grief unlike nearly any other past event on Wednesday morning. The only times I ever remember feeling even close to as upset were after breakups, and even so, I still think I cried more on Wednesday than I did after any breakup. It was so, so heartbreaking.

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