January 19, 2021: Lots of Feels

Thirteen hours from now, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. will become the 46th U.S. President. Kamala Devi Harris will be our Vice President, the first female Vice President, the first black of South Asian descent as Vice President. Tomorrow will be a historic day in US history, in women’s history, and black American history. A momentous day, indeed.

Today I was filled with restrained joy. Cautious hope. Sorrow. I pray for a return to sleeping through the night and not grinding my teeth. Lord knows, I feel hopeful for tomorrow. I do. But this week, that hope was mixed with sorrow, fear, and there’s tension in my shoulders. Our hearts are broken. We feel strong emotions today. We are in mourning. We need time to mourn as our family members, loved ones, friends, and strangers suffer and die from Covid-19. We mourn for those who took their lives last year and this year.

Today, a visibly emotional Joe Biden spoke in Delaware before his journey to Washington, DC. With grief etched on his face, he spoke about his son. I cried. What a blessing and relief to have a decent, compassionate man in the White House. Tomorrow at noon. Thank God.

Early in the 2020 Presidential campaign season, I explained my feelings and emotions to a friend. I felt as if I were dating a textbook narcissist, an abuser. Americans were gaslighted, lied to repeatedly, and we had the rug pulled out from under our feet over and over again by trump and his cowardly administration. We’ve endured a horrific four years under his presidency.

Tonight, I recognize much of what I feel. It resembles the anxiety and fear I felt the night before I left our family home in Brussels, heading to the US with my college-bound children and toward a divorce after a long-time marriage. I could not fully relax until 20, 30 minutes after our plane took off. It was awful.

As surprising as it feels now, it would take a few years to stop looking over my shoulder and thinking in a more positive manner. I believe Joe Biden’s presidency will feel like that for most of us. For as long as white supremacists, far-right extremist groups, and Q-Anon believers live among us, we must remain vigilant. They’ve already shown us who they are.

We will mourn our dead and we will never forget. Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in this country. The 400 lights along the Washington Reflecting Pool are beautiful. I hope they remain in place as a forever tribute to the over 400,000 COVID deaths in this country.

Tomorrow, we will celebrate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. I pray Joe Biden and his administration begin work immediately to find all the missing immigrant children and reunite them with their suffering parents and families. Innocent victims of trump and his callous, ruthless, and heartless administration.

Finally, we will celebrate trump’s final exit from the White House at the butt crack of dawn. I can’t wait for tomorrow. I can’t wait for his trial(s). May he never ever hold public office again. Nor his daughter. smh

Praying and thinking good thoughts for the swearing-in ceremony tomorrow. Prayers tonight for those who lost their lives to the novel coronavirus and their loved ones. Prayers for those who are suffering tonight. I send you a warm virtual hug.

Stay strong, be well.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning novel, “A Decent Woman”, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor’s debut novel, set 1900 Puerto Rico, garnered awards at the 2016 and 2017 International Latino Book Awards. She is featured in the anthology, “Latina Authors and Their Muses”, edited by Mayra Calvani.

Eleanor is working on her second novel “The Laments”, set in 1926 Puerto Rico, and an untitled collection of poems about the many facets of love, which often remind her of the complicated relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico.

IMPEACHED. TWICE.

January 13, 2021

Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

Surprised? A week ago, the US Capitol was overwhelmed, stormed, and invaded by a mob. People were beaten. Five died. How is anyone surprised he was impeached? Yet today, millions of Americans are enraged, in disbelief–their leader was impeached again. Today was one for the history books–the 45th President of the United States was impeached a second time–the first time in American history.

As I see it, there’s not much the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans agree on. We disagree on national issues, the economy, on immigration, climate change, and government reach. During the past five years, we clearly haven’t seen eye to eye on zero-tolerance immigration issues, Black Lives Matter, anti-Semitism, white supremacy, racism, Covid-19 relief money, misogyny, separating immigrant children from their parents, caging immigrant infants and children, and then losing over 600 immigrant children in our current system. Don’t forget the children. I won’t ever forget.

We disagree on mask-wearing, social distancing, protecting our fellow Americans from a deadly virus, on vaccinations, and what constitutes a right/freedom. Folks still deny we’re living in a deadly global pandemic and still call COVID-19 a hoax. How do you deal with that mentality? Let me know when you figure it out.

Today, Trump loyalists are still screaming, “Stop the steal!”. Staunch Trump supporters and cowardly Republicans still believe Biden is the illegitimate winner of the 2020 Presidential election. Today, the House of Representatives voted to impeach this president. Ten Republican Senators voted for impeachment, a bipartisan impeachment. When was the last time that happened?

Tonight, many questions persist. New theories have come to light, and the FBI investigation continues into the US Capitol insurrection.

Why was there a glaring lack of police presence at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021? Where was the National Guard?

Why didn’t Trump walk to the US Capitol with his people as he said he would? Actually, that one’s easy to answer–he never intended to walk anywhere.

How in the world did the insurgents find Speaker Nancy Pilosi’s office so quickly? What about finding Majority Whip James Clyburn’s secret office?

Who removed the panic buttons from Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley’s office prior to the Capitol riot?

Was the insurrection a planned event or spontaneous event? An inside job? By whom?

What should be done to the non-mask-wearing Republicans, who sheltered in place with Democrats, who are now Covid-19 positive? Can the GOP members be fined and removed from their jobs?

Will GOP members be allowed to carry their weapons into any government building? Can they choose to not go through metal detectors? Will they be fined? Removed from their jobs?

Will Trump be convicted in a Senate trial?

Should President-elect Joe Biden’s outdoor swearing-in ceremony proceed as planned? Are 20,000 National Guard members enough to keep everyone present at the inauguration safe?

Truth, justice, and accountability must happen before we begin talks of unity. Welcome to 2021. So many questions. So many investigations. So many warnings, and it’s only January 13.

In my state, 80+ year-olds received their vaccines, which is wonderful. Seventy-plus-year-olds will receive their first vaccine this weekend. My group is next.

On the writing front, I submitted my poetry collection to my publisher last week. I believe we decided on a great title, and I’m hoping for an April publication date–Poetry Month. I’m excited!

Be safe and continue to wear your mask.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning novel, “A Decent Woman”, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor’s debut novel, set 1900 Puerto Rico, garnered awards at the 2016 and 2017 International Latino Book Awards. She is featured in the anthology, “Latina Authors and Their Muses”, edited by Mayra Calvani.

Eleanor is working on her second novel “The Laments”, set in 1926 Puerto Rico, and an untitled collection of poems about the many facets of love, which often remind her of the complicated relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico.

Capitol Hill Insurrection

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Photo by Jesus Con S Silbada on Pexels.com

Well, damn. The new year started with a BANG, literally. Shocking and sad, but not surprising. Tonight, I am still a bit shell-shocked and more than alarmed as dozens of news reports roll out with accompanying videos shot from different angles, inside and outside the US Capitol.

On Monday, I’d expressed concern to a friend about the MAGA crowds in DC. By Tuesday, the crowd seemed to grow in size and unruliness. I watched trump rile up his base, along with his son, Senators Cruz, McCarthy, and a junior Senator named Josh Hawley.

Today is Three King’s Day. As I replied to a Facebook message, a video popped up on my laptop screen. The Now Then video showed a large chanting mob at the US Capital, waving trump flags, Confederate flags, and placards with the words, “Stop the steal”.

I expected all that. It was nothing new, however, something felt different from previous trump rallies I’d watched. The intense rage of the crowd was palpable. Their faces were contorted in rage. I spotted camo jackets, gas masks, bull horns, American flags. Some protestors shoved reporters, yelled in their faces. Not a face mask to be seen in a sea of red MAGA hats. Then I saw a guy waving an American flag tied to a pitchfork. Something ugly and violent was about to go down. You could feel it. And go down it would, in a way I never thought I’d see in this country. Yet equally, not at all surprising.

Minutes later, a cameraman panned the crowd. Before I knew it, the mob surged forward. Folks clamored over the concrete barriers, ran up the steps of the Capital and fanned out in front of a small group of Capital Hill police. Holy shit. I immediately posted on Facebook. Why wasn’t the National Guard in full force? Where was the FBI? Homeland Security? This was no longer a crowd of protestors. It looked like a riot. How could the powers that be have missed that this protest could turn violent? Was the lack of police presence and push-back planned? By whom? I had my suspicions. I turned on the news.

The next videos were shot inside the Capitol. They were chilling. I felt nauseated. A bloody woman was rushed out on a stretcher. The president was silent. What the hell was going on?

An hour later or less, President-elect Joe Biden used the words domestic terrorists. Their crime? Insurrection. It is what it is.

The differences between the Black Lives Matters rallies and protests last summer and this mob are stark, black and white. The treatment of the mob and those who illegally entered the Capital and exited with souvenirs, smiles, and jeers was breathtaking, shocking. I joined millions of Americans who asked the question:

What would have happened if the mob had been black? Brown? I shudder to think what a blood bath that would have been.

In the next days, we’ll watch the GOP sidestep, lie, and present the case that trump did not, in fact, incite a riot, an insurrection. They will again gaslight the American public. But friends, myriad news videos, selfies, first-hand accounts, thousands of photographs will show the truth. And soon, patriotic friends and family members will point fingers and accuse the insurrectionists, who didn’t even bother to wear masks. Nice.

The majority of American people want trump out. The majority of Americans want his Republican henchmen and women out. We voted.

Most of us believe that deadly, bloody insurrection was inspired, incited, and led by the president of the United States. And it’s not over. Some say it’s only the beginning. Trump will be impeached. The first US president in history to be impeached twice will be Donald J. Trump.

Justice and accountability first. Unity second or third. Will this country ever see unity? That remains to be seen. I seriously doubt I will see real unity in my lifetime. I pray I’m wrong.

I pray Joe Biden and everyone at the Presidential Inauguration are safe on January 20th.

Stay safe and continue to wear your mask. Tragically, people are still dying in record numbers.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning novel, “A Decent Woman”, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor’s debut novel, set 1900 Puerto Rico, garnered awards at the 2016 and 2017 International Latino Book Awards. She is featured in the anthology, “Latina Authors and Their Muses”, edited by Mayra Calvani.

Eleanor is working on her second novel “The Laments”, set in 1926 Puerto Rico, and an untitled collection of poems about the many facets of love, which often remind her of the complicated relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico.

2020. What Can I Say?

December 31, 2020

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on Pexels.com

Welcome to the end of 2020. Trump’s sideshow. The reality TV presidency. The hellish year. The year of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The year the majority of Americans woke up or finally believed the epic past and present greed and corruption perpetuated in this country by voting. The year most Americans finally acknowledged or looked at the abuses committed against minorities, the poor, LGBTQ folks and against immigrant families. Even my staunch Republican family member, who voted twice for trump, voiced her distaste for trump. That’s saying a lot.

I’m not going to write about 2020 in this blog post–the good, the bad, and the ugly of this pandemic year. We lived it. We’re still in it. You, me, and our loved ones. Our neighbors, friends, and strangers. Many of us are suffering, dying, and on the verge of emotional meltdowns/break downs. Too many have died. This year was a royal bitch and we’re nowhere near out of it.

American hospitals are in crisis. Our healthcare workers and healthcare facilities are overwhelmed and exhausted. In LA County, 14, 000 people a day test positive for Covid-19, that’s every 10-15 minutes. A new, more virulent strain of this virus is in the US. Two cases already. I heard a frightening report about a shortage of oxygen tanks in California. Oxygen. Holy God.

The goal to vaccinate 20 million Americans by the end of the year? Not happening. Only 2+ million Americans have received the first vaccine. So. Stay home. Wear your mask and keep doing your part to stop the spread of this virus. Hang on and stay safe. Vaccinations are coming. When? Well, that remains a big unknown. I pray our heroines and heroes on the front lines of this pandemic have already received their vaccines and that the rest of us are vaccinated by Spring 2021.

I started writing this 2020 Pandemic Diary on March 15, 2020. I’m amazed I kept it up. It wasn’t easy. I’m saving all my pandemic posts for my children and those who will come after us.

I honestly don’t have a lot to say on the last day of 2020, except that I’ve learned many important lessons. Living alone, which I’ve always enjoyed for making art, was an absolute bitch.

The first pandemic blog post:

https://thewritinglifeeparker.wordpress.com/2020/03/15/pandemic-diary-working-from-home/

I wish you good health in 2021. Good health. As I’ve always believed, that’s everything.

Eleanor x

ABOUT ELEANOR:

Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning novel, “A Decent Woman”, published by Winter Goose Publishing. Eleanor’s debut novel, set 1900 Puerto Rico, garnered awards at the 2016 and 2017 International Latino Book Awards. She is featured in the anthology, “Latina Authors and Their Muses”, edited by Mayra Calvani.

Eleanor is working on her second novel “The Laments”, set in 1926 Puerto Rico, and an as yet untitled collection of poems about the many facets of love, which often remind her of the complicated relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico.