Dear President Obama,
Happy President’s Day! I have the day off, but I know you don’t. I know you haven’t had a day off since prior to your election in 2008. I’m sorry for that; you really deserve a break.
I will never forget the day you became our President-elect. I couldn’t believe it. I honestly never thought a black man would be President in my lifetime, but there you were with your family by your side, a black man, and my next President. I wept with the sheer joy of it. My daughter was so excited she asked if we could have Sasha and Malia over for a playdate. She just knew that somehow our families would become fast friends. I love it that she thought our inner circle would, of course, include our new black First Family. Your election brought such joy and hope to so many.
Your presidency has been filled with tears for me, most of them happy ones. I watched your first inauguration, spellbound, wiping joyful tears from my cheeks. My tears during your second inaugural address, however, sprung from the realization of the end of an era. It was bittersweet for me – knowing not just that we had to look forward to only four more years under your leadership but also knowing that as a black person in America, I wouldn’t be able to go back.
I can’t go back to who I was before you became President. I can’t go back to recognizing but not facing our country’s injustices and inequalities. I can’t go back to living like mediocrity is acceptable. I can’t go back to tacitly adhering to the good old boys network that dominates the land.
Your presidency has been revolutionary, but another revolution will begin when you leave office. All of us who are realizing we can’t go back will fight against the going back that will inevitably occur when you leave the Oval. And that’s a good thing. A terrifying one, but a good one, nevertheless.
We won’t realize the effects of your presidency for generations, but I’m looking forward to seeing where we land as a country having been blessed with your time in office.
This, of course, brings me back to where I began – in wonderment of your position on this, your last President’s Day in office. I honestly didn’t think you would live this long. Since the day you were elected, I’ve waited for the news of your assassination. I know that’s morbid, but unfortunately that fear reflects the state of our union.
It’s been against that fear and for so many other reasons that my family and I have prayed for you and your family every single day since that historic evening in 2008. And we will continue to pray once you leave office. Your time in office may be wrapping up, but I’m excited about what you will do next. Your time of impact is far from over.
Godspeed, Mr. President. Godspeed.