On most days, I talk to Mack. I whisper her a good morning, I share with her my plans for the day, I talk to her about the food I am cooking, or I read the news to her. Yet I still yearn to hear her voice in conversation, to debate an issue with her, or to ask her a question. But since real conversations are no longer possible, I quietly commune with Mack’s spirit, and it brings me a little peace. But today was one of those days when my desire to speak with Mack was particularly powerful, whispering to her spirit did not suffice, and the peace stepped aside for my tears. Because today is a good day. It is a historic day. It is a day that my justice-loving, fair-minded, and passionately good-hearted Mack should be here to see for herself.
When I first heard the news today that the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in favor of marriage equality for every American in every state, my thoughts immediately went to Mack. I actually reached for my cell phone to call her. I paused with my hand on the phone, put my head down on my desk, and cried in happiness and in sorrow. I cried in my elation over this historic news that will have such a positive impact on the lives of many friends, and I wept because Mack would never know it had happened.
Oh, Mack, how I longed to hear the excitement that would have filled your lungs and danced off of your tongue as you discussed this news. No doubt, you would have provided a clever quip about how long overdue the decision or how pathetic and desperate the dissenting opinion of Justice Scalia. I know that you would be celebrating tonight with all of your friends at Truman State. You would be exuberant about the broader historical meaning of this ruling, and you would be thrilled to your bones for the personal significance it will have in the lives of a couple of your dearest of friends.
Oh, Mack, what a week it has been; a week that may have the power to restore your skeptical Momma Bear’s faith in a country for which I have struggled to find hope. The governor of South Carolina has called for the removal of the Confederate flag from the state capitol building. The U.S. Supreme Court has smacked down the evil assault on the Affordable Care Act and decried racial discrimination in housing by saving the Fair Housing Act. And then, today, the improbable news about marriage equality, topped off by a rousing and historic speech by President Obama about racism, gun culture, hatred, and finding the grace of a better America. I wish you were here, baby girl, to see with your eyes what you always knew in your heart was fair and just and human.
Oh, and Mack, I wish you could have heard Obama sing Amazing Grace. I wish you could have read the spoof by Andy Borowitz in the New Yorker entitled “Scalia Arrested Trying to Burn Down the Supreme Court.” And I wish you could see this perfect cartoon that the Southern Poverty Law Center posted on Facebook. I bet you would have made it the background of your own Facebook account, right? This is for reals, Macko; and I feel pretty certain that your spirit has been smiling all day.