Barack Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, died today.
Whether Senator Obama wins or loses tomorrow, our children will one day read books and watch movies about this historical presidential election. Being a lover of books and movies -- and an enthusiastic supporter of Senator Obama -- I've thought a lot about his story. I've mentally cast the lead actors in some future film and imagined long lines of average citizens waiting for a chance to be cast as extras in the campaign rally scenes.
Much of the movie would be filmed on location, in the exotic locales of Obama's childhood and in the streets of Chicago's South Side, and the tension and excitement would build as he continued to gain grass-roots support in state after state despite the unlikelihood that such a thing would ever happen. Moviegoers would get a big dose of history and inspiration for the price of a ticket and a box of popcorn.
As clearly as I can imagine all this, it would never have occurred to me to include a scene in the movie in which the candidate's beloved grandmother dies on the eve of the election. That would be too much irony; I'd be afraid no one would believe it.
Can you imagine the conflicted feelings Senator Obama and his family are experiencing tonight? They must be exhausted, physically and emotionally, from the fast pace of the campaign, and I wonder at the strength of character it must take to absorb one more major life event at a time like this. Even as they dream of winning tomorrow, they suffer a loss today.
Life is unpredictable.