As you can probably tell, my hope to blog about the elections didn't quite work out. I was volunteering quite a bit in the second half of 2012, and then this year a new job and relationship have taken time up.
But if you don't mind, I wanted to write again about what Newt 2012 meant to me. For two reasons.
The first is that many -- including a few of my family members, who like to jest (I think?) -- see those in politics as shady (at best). When those in my family, friends, or other people I know have said that recently, I have started to try to explain to them -- using the following -- how that reputation is often the farthest thing from the truth. (Though, after finally getting around to House of Cards and binge-watching that this weekend, I doubt that idea is going away anytime soon.)
Last year, at the end of Newt 2012, I wrote here about my mom. Several people, both staffers and those I was lucky enough to come across in those months, wrote to me. That was the first anyone from the campaign had heard of my mom being sick. As silly as it may sound, I didn't want to distract from the purpose of getting Newt elected, even if it would have been a very short distraction.
I will always be grateful for those I met during the campaign, and I'll always consider them friends. You'd be hard-pressed to find a stereotypical heartless operative in that bunch.
Besides my first political love -- to borrow a phrase -- I think the campaign meant so much because of what was happening in my life. Just a few days before the infamous consultant exodus of June 9th, my dog Bucky, who had been shot about fourteen months earlier, passed away. (That's reason number two, as we just passed the two-year mark.) He was a tough SOB, who fought like crazy but just was never able to fully recover. To show how stubborn he was, he insisted on crawling to the car when I found him. I was able to hurry up and pick him up before he went too far, but he was going to give it his all. (Maybe he thought a crying mess like myself might have trouble trying to lug his butt too far.) Not to mention fighting his mom -- to the point of me having to separate them -- not two weeks after coming home. Stubborn.
Six months after my mom passed, my uncle -- her brother -- who had been in and out of the hospital for a few weeks, died. Once again, working helped ease the loss.
What would I have done had I had a job that I didn't love so much? I don't know, but I'm glad I did.
On a final note, relating just to my mom and not the campaign, a friend I've known since Kindergarten was scheduled to go overseas just days after my mom's funeral. While over there, she -- unbeknownst to me at the time -- flew a flag on my mom's birthday.
After we finally got together after she came back, she gave me it to me for my birthday. I was stunned for a moment, not knowing what the proper response to that is. She was such an awesome help during the last couple of months of my mom's life, and between that and everything else, I don't know how I could ever pay her and her family back.
You really learn a lot about people in tough situations -- for good or bad. And I feel blessed to have those people in my life.