I am writing this particular piece at noon, mid-week, having stayed up all night – from 2am till now – waiting to watch Hillary Clinton win then write a ‘historic’ little article about the First Lady who became the first female president of the United States.
Now that column, like a child who will never be born, will never see the light of day.
And one has to wonder if we will ever see a woman as Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful country on the face of the earth. And that feels really bad.
At 2am, I woke up missing my late kid brother, Benjy, with whom we always watched (and stayed up to) the US elections every four-year cycle, from 1996 – 2012. Our worst one was the year 2000 A.D., when Florida tied up the vote only for the Supreme Court to give it to Bush Junior, weeks later, over Al Gore.
Our best one was, of course, the 2008 election that brought Barack Obama, the first black president, to the highest office in the world. We were proud, and celebrated with spirits (and our Iranian neighbours) past dawn.
I’m not exactly sure what went so wrong for Hillary Clinton. But Benjy, who passed away a year after the 2012 Obama re-election, would have found it quite painful.
It would be remiss of me, on this day, mentioning brothers gone, not to say that it is the first sad anniversary of a brother’s demise for our colleague, Deputy Editorial Director Kipkoech Tanui.
The thing is, when a brother or sister passes away, part of you goes with them, especially the younger years when you spent together as family, and rituals, like American elections, that you shared
But there are worse things, of course, than your favored candidate losing an election (although for some people, as we saw after our own 2007 elections, it is the end of the world). For example, losing a mom, as another of our top editors, my friend Charles Otieno did, a few weeks ago.
You pick up the phone and because from your own experience, you know how truly terrible it is to lose the lady who brought you into the world, you tell your friend Time is the only thing that will ease that pain – and, even then, never completely.
Moms have a way of staying fresh in your heart, even years after they are long gone, and bringing the unexpected tear; but also, great gratitude, for the time you shared together, and how far along they took you.
A couple of months ago, I felt disappointment wash all over me as I placed third for a prize I really thought I’d take first place, especially after the terrific effort I had put into getting this thing. It is little consolation being told that at least you got on the podium when you’re golden and get bronze.
Hillary has poured 30 years of her life into public service. She is intelligent and was well prepared to be president. I cannot imagine what she feels as dawn cracks over New York, this terrible yoke of devastating defeat that she truly did not deserve.
Especially to a political novice ill prepared, intellectually and temperamentally, to be president of USA.
Once in a while, life puts on big gloves stuffed with dried cement — and clean knocks us out! What you must do is get up, bloodied, battered but not beaten — and keep swinging.