Four years ago, Bill Clinton spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. I remember sitting in the living room with my family to watch. I don’t remember what Clinton said. I do know I was impressed; he gave a great, moving speech. What I remember most about that night is that my mom fell asleep and missed it. She was so disappointed because she admired Bill Clinton so much and was excited to see him speak. I told her not to worry, that it would be online the next day and I would find it for her. My mom never got to see that speech. She died that night, just a couple of hours after Clinton’s speech. Today, four years later, I feel a sense of déjà vu as I google Bill Clinton’s 2016 Convention speech. For better or worse, I view the Clintons as inextricably linked to my mother. She would be thrilled to see Hillary Clinton as the democratic nominee. She loved Hillary, and constantly told me we needed more women politicians. I know she always dreamed of seeing a woman in the White House. That being said, I don’t want to talk about Hillary Clinton. I want to talk about my mom. Though I only got fifteen years with her, my mom has been one of the most influential people in my life. Was she perfect? Of course not. But she was kind, and caring, and loving, and forgiving, and selfless. Maybe even too much so at times. I’ve read pages from her journals where she wrote down prayers. Every single day she thanked God for her family. She named us out individually, and asked God to protect us. She often said she was feeling depressed or described her health problems, but thanked God for allowing to spend another day with us. I can’t imagine being in her position, with a myriad of health problems and constant family troubles, and still feeling thankful. But she was, always, every single day. I’m afraid I don’t have her endless optimism, but I like to try. And I’d like to spread that love and joy that she always had to the people in my life. I want to share this at a time that many people, myself included, are sharing their opinions about this election season. Politics will always be a messy discussion. But I want to remind everyone–I want to remind myself–that we should never allow differing opinions to make us bitter, hateful people. At the end of the day, no political party defines who I am. My actions and words define who I am. And I want my actions and words to reflect my mama’s kind, selfless, and loving heart. I’m working on it, and I will continue to do so, regardless of who holds what office.