I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day. If you missed yesterday’s post you can read it —HERE –. You can also read a little bit about our day in Katie’s post by clicking —HERE –. Sadly, her account ends just before the ‘family hike’ (which turned into a walk which turned into the girls scootering to the park) which abruptly turned into a hobble back home when Katie fell off her scooter, flew tush over teakettle and found herself eating the sidewalk. Nothing like a skinned knee and a fat lip to top off a great day. Oh yeah, good times.
And now, back to the White House, the letter and the picture.
Assistant Attorney General Perez scrambled to review the session before we were escorted out of the conference room and back to the auditorium in which we’d begun the day. Given extremely limited time, he did a remarkable job of summarizing the issues raised.
As everyone gathered their things for the walk back, I made my way over to the front of the room. I waited as AAG Perez finished one brief conversation, then another. I was sure someone was going to come and drag me out the door, but I waited nonetheless. As he finished talking and reached down to gather his notes, I seized the opening.
I told him that I was grateful for his time and that I wanted to give him something. “This,” I said, “is a letter that I wrote to President Obama that I’d like to ask you to read as well.”
Ed note .. You can read my letter to President Obama –> HERE <–
I handed him the printed copy, which he added to the pile of papers in front of him. And then I took a deep breath.
“And this is a picture of my girl.”
I offered him the photo – a close-up of Brooke from our vacation the week before – smiling, her beautiful eyes aglow. I held onto it just a second too long before handing it over. The only words I had were, “THIS is why I’m here.”
He took the photo, thanked me and we hurried out of the room behind the rest of the group.
I would later tell Luau that the moment had been awkward. It had felt like an odd thing to do under the circumstances. I would also tell him that I would do it a thousand times over again. I NEEDED him to see my girl.
Our conversation that day was not theoretical. It was not about numbers nor statistics nor money saved or spent. It was about PEOPLE. It’s ALWAYS about people.
I trust that given his role, AAG Perez knows that better than most. But I also believe that it’s my job – no, my sacred responsibility – as Brooke’s Mama to make sure that no one can ever forget it.
White House Part Seven – The Wrap Up coming tomorrow. Finally.