Much is made within any campaign season of which candidates share our values. Some will say it is a code word often used by the Republicans to show how their candidates understand the American people, while defining Democrats as elitists who do not. All I will say is that for this Democratic mom, it is Joe Biden who shares my values and does understand me.
As we go about our daily lives thinking that we have the bull by the horns, life is great, we never think of how a personal tragedy can throw us off our game. Often that tragedy will come crashing down on you like a ten-ton weight. While I have never really discussed my personal life in any column in these past eight years, in watching CNN profiles where they profiled Senator Joe Biden, I shared a strong emotional connection with him. In that clip you will see how the death of his first wife Neilia along with his thirteen month old daughter Naomi brought such emotional devastation. It was his second wife, Jill, who gave him permission to love yet again.
While I have never felt the loss of a spouse, I did however experience the loss of twins in my first pregnancy where I too thought I could not make it through another day. One twin was categorized as non-viable and the other twin as viable, the viable one passed away three days after being born. While not as old as Joe Biden’s daughter, Naomi, still the loss of a child is devastating none the less.
You simply do not know how you will make it through another day, especially coming home from the hospital with empty arms. Seeing how other moms were enjoying feeding their new born babies, I could not share in that enjoyment. Seeing how they were able to go home with their little bundles of joy, I could not. Those empty arms were weighted down in immense sorrow. I became so angry at God and closed myself away from life itself. I do remember closing the blinds, not wanting to see any light and cried for days, weeks and months ahead.
As Joe described how Jill gave him permission to love again, the same came from my subsequent children who are now in their teen years. My daughter arrived roughly a year after my twin sons died and yes, she gave me permission to love again. Then came my son eighteen months later, and he too opened up my heart in accepting more love in my life.
They still amaze me to this day, but I still remember my twin sons and still grieve their loss. When asked how many children do you have, I say four. Two in Heaven and two with me here. In losing my parents in the nineties, I called upon my twin sons in Heaven to go greet their grandparents and my guess is that my parents are now baby sitting my twins, Sean and Scott. When I get to Heaven someday, I know I will see them again.
For those who have never experienced the loss of a child, I will tell you first hand, you feel as if the world came crashing down around you. Parents are never supposed to lose their children. Parents are supposed to go before their children.
In watching that particular segment, the flood gate of tears came forward and I knew exactly how Joe Biden felt. I think the reason he openly speaks out against the war in Iraq is because he does not want to see a son or daughter die before their time and for parents to have to bury them. To have to bury a child, whether they are grown or infants, no words can adequately describe that feeling. I still do not have a word to this day. All I will say is that it is just not supposed to be.
He does not want to see a wife or a husband have to deal with the loss of their spouse while serving this great country of ours. Many who do receive that knock on the door have children and they must go on living their lives as Joe had to go on living his since he had two sons to raise. I bet you anything as our vice president he can have an emotional connection to them.
I believe that for all the military families out there, Joe does share their values as he knows of this immense pain. While his wife and daughter did not die in battle, they died in an horrific car crash where their last minutes here on Earth were of terrible pain and suffering. As fathers and mothers receive news that their loved one died in Iraq, as vice president, Joe will have a strong connection to them.
Joe does know what death is all about and just how precious life is. In this world of politics where the term ‘shares our values’ is often tossed about, and no one exactly knows the meaning of it, I believe that Joe shares the values of those who have lost loved ones not only in this war, but in other circumstances equally devastating.
As Joe had to go on living his life, he did so to protect and love his boys who have now grown into young men. As a woman and a mom, I value leaders who have had to act as protectors for those they did and still love. They are, after all, protectors in the most intimate of ways. Love of family for those who have died, and are still with us is the ultimate in shared values. I get Joe and Joe gets me.
Would I feel protected with a vice president Joe Biden? Absolutely, because he understands the sense of loss I have felt as a mom. At sometime in the future, my sixteen year-old son wants to sign up for the military and all I can say is that I know he would have a protector in a vice president, Joe Biden.
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