My daughter, Kate, and I were pretty proud of the words we’d chosen for our protest signs. I did the painting on the poster board because I knew how to measure and had a steadier hand. The idea for my sign came as my first thoughts upon waking this morning. “Gun Control is a Prolife Issue”. It was better than my original idea, “Military Weapons Belong on Military Facilities.” Kate had chosen “If you Can’t fly, you Can’t Buy”. It took me about half an hour to do my sign while Kate showered and ate breakfast. When I set out doing her’s I thought to try using a marker instead of paint. Why I didn’t use marker for mine, I don’t know, but the task was reduced to about 10 minutes of work.
It was high time to leave and I had yet to do the other sides of each poster. “That’s okay, Mom,” Kate said, “We don’t have to have the message on both sides.”
“No way,” I said. “You drive and I will do the opposite sides in the car.” I scrambled to brush my teeth, take my vitamins, throw on my coat and head out the door to Sartell. First I noticed that the paint on my sign was not yet dry. How could I turn it over without getting paint on my lap? So I tried dabbing the wet spots with a Kleenex. All it did was make matters worse. I managed to get uninvited black spots around my letters. The sign looked like it had been riddled with bullets. I turned to Kate’s sign hoping mine would dry before we got to Sartell’s city hall.
I was pretty proud when I completed her sign. Because Kate was driving, I read it to her: “If you Can’t Fly, you Can’t Fly.”
OMG!!! We both started to laugh so hard that I did what all old ladies do when they laugh really hard. It was okay with her if she didn’t have a sign to carry, she said. So happy to have an understanding daughter. But we decided to stop at a gas station to go to the bathroom before the march.
It was a cool day but we were properly bundled. Talking with folks along the way is always the best part of a march. One woman offered to carry my sign for a while when she noticed how I was huffing and puffing. It felt better to drop my arms to my side. Kate and I both met old friends and caught up on lives that had run parallel to ours after we’d moved away from Sartell. The walk was a little over a mile, not bad but for the brisk pace young people are able to trek.
Finally we arrived at the church that had agreed to welcome us and we ate cookies, drank water, and prayed. The minister prayed for a world that would be safe for children, the vulnerable and the elderly and for a peaceful resolution to this national crisis. Not an angry word had been spoken from the beginning to the end of the protest.
We ended our time with lunch at the home of some dear friends. My friend Pete had taken pictures of some of the signs people carried in the walk and shared with us his favorite: “Now you’ve really PISSED GRANDMA OFF!”
I told my husband about the sign after I got home. “We grandmas should get together and form our own march,” I said.
“Then the march would be shorter and slower,” he said.