Evelyn Julia Brumm, Rest in Peace
My grandmother died early this morning after a short battle with cancer. She was 85.
This is not a proper eulogy; those are hard to write.
However. Grandma voted by absentee ballot early last week, before the morphine took over. If she managed to vote, so can all y’alls (at least, assuming I finish writing this before the polls close).
I’m registered as a permanent absentee voter, and I mailed my ballot in two weeks ago. That worked out well – I was glad not to worry about it while flying back to the craton to spend this time with family. Today, though, I’m a bit sad not to be participating in the civic ritual of actually going to the polling place to stand in line with my neighbors.
Death has its own rituals, in wakes and funerals and also in the things people say to one another. They’re almost canned sentiments, but really they’re invocations, designed to help us feel connected to something larger than ourselves. As an atheist among grieving Catholics, I find that much of it falls flat.
I am sometimes agnostic about the promise of America, but I am never so conspiracy-minded as to actually doubt the existence of the United States. Voting is therefore much better than church. I think I’m going to switch back to an at-the-polls registration.
As an aside: I just got a GOTV call from the Obama campaign and Dad reports that he saw my name on the voter rolls while he was voting. Iowa City has a large transient student population; if they’re not purging their records properly I wonder if that’s enough to significantly affect the reported turnout numbers.