Dear President Obama:
I received your most gracious letter yesterday; thank you.
Before I address the specifics of your note, I would like to thank you for your service these past eight years; I can only imagine how difficult it was at times, or how downright frustrating. Through it all however, you maintained such decorum, exercised such strength and hopefulness, maintained your integrity and was the embodiment of a loving husband and supporting and nurturing father. Mr. President, you led by example.
It would be so very easy to, given what we are being force-fed with now, to compare you and your presidency with what we will be in store for for at least four years; but I will not insult you that way. From all that I have seen and for all you have done and attempted to do for us, you do not need to be that dishonored. In no way are you that good, simply by virtue of our current choices being that bad.
Mr. President, you and the First Lady have been an inspiration to me and will continue to be so for the rest of my life. You humanized the White House and for that, “Thank you, Sir.” You stepped outside of the confines of your job and met us where we are. You never spoke down to us, but rather respected our intelligences enough to address us at the level we have already achieved and the one you know we will get to. You loved your woman right in our faces and in doing so, exemplified the sanctity of commitment and honor.
Mr. President, I hope as you pack your boxes and bags and leave the home you built for the past eight years that you never totally withdraw from our lives; that would be a tragedy we shall ill recover from. I know, given some of the responses and treatment you have experienced I may be asking too much, but Sir, I believe you can handle this request. You see, this country needs you and the First Lady. As a black woman, you (both) signify hope to me. I look at you, my soul responds to your smile and FLOTUS’ willingness to participate in the everyday realities and shenanigans that is our world. The spoofs, dances, speeches, outings, PSAs, date nights, style, caresses… they all reach far past the invisible wall of your Secret Service and touch us.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Yesterday, as you very well know Sir, I became a citizen of The United States of America. Thank you.
Thank you for welcoming me. Thank you for the words of validation, hope and encouragement. Thank you for acknowledging and thus honoring the importance of the immigrant’s work in building and sustaining this nation. Thank you for being the kind of president that speaks words of honor and respect.
Sir, I will be the kind of citizen that will make both you and America proud. As an American, I pledge to fulfill my responsibility to vote, contribute to the economy, bear arms if called upon to do so (by the government), honor through my words and actions those that have given their lives, fought and those who continue to fight to ensure not only my physical safety and freedom, but my freedom to express myself and my freedom to love whom I love. I will be the kind of citizen that recognizes and values the reality that my presence here, as a naturalized citizen could mean that resources and opportunities could have been redirected from another American of birthright. Thus, I will do my best to give back.
Yesterday morning your insight, fairness, wisdom and dedication to equality allowed me to stand before the American flag, raise my right hand and take a place (along with 250+ others) amongst the other citizens of this great nation. Thank you. I was and continue to be so very honored, incredibly humbled and awed.
I am an American. Sir, I am just like you.
Now, I am in tears.
Mr. President, we will miss you. For blacks, you gave us back something we had not believed in in such a very long time – hope – for our political, social and private selves. You made new dreams for our children and changed their conversation… “When I grow up, I want to be the president!” But it is not only for blacks you worked; I can honestly say you were a president dedicated to all citizens of this country you so clearly love. Thank you. Even as some may have objected with your policies and decisions, I found comfort knowing your intention was always good. Thank you.
So Sir, thank you for what you have done for my adoptive country in general and for what you have opened up for this simple girl from Trinidad, in particular.
America! America! God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
God bless you, Mr. President.