My mother, Elizabeth Snider, was a very quiet and simple woman, often over-shadowed by her dynamic and gregarious husband, Russell. Liz died last year on October 18. Her ninety-third birthday would have been October 21. She was born before women could vote in the United States and one of her great passions was the right to do so. She was taken to the polls with assistance when she could no longer see or walk or use her hands. She asked that it be written in her obituary that a legacy to her would be that all people who can vote do so on every occasion. In this day between the anniversary of her death and the remembrance of her birth and less that a month before the US general elections, to which access is threatened as it has not been in a long time, this prayer speaks for her.
God, we thank you for all things small –
the acorn, the maple leaf, the single word of praise.
God, we thank you for all things short —
trees near the seashore, toddlers,
shortbread with hot apple sauce, ten-minutes sermons.
God, we thank you for all things small and short —
homework on a weekend, a perfect sunrise,
a text message of kindness, the way a haircut makes us feel.
God, we thank you for the ability to extend
what is too short or too small in our lives —
a deep breath before a short temper,
a generous friend when the rent is short,
a hand up the stairs for small legs,
and the way many small gifts make love abundant.
God, we thank you for the vote,
every person’s vote, each single one so small,
and we thank you for those who
make short and simple
the path for all people to the polls. Amen.