Thought for the day ….

Good Morning and Welcome to Saturday the 24th day of March, 2018.

This morning the sun is shining and I hope that the birds are singing.

I want to share my Friday story.

 

Yesterday although it started with wind and snow by afternoon the temperature had rose significantly and the sun was shining.

The sun was certainly shining at Rogers Place in Edmonton yesterday afternoon.

Okay, now my Friday may have started with wind and snow but when  the former First Lady Michelle Robinson Obama made her way onto the stage at Rogers Place; the sun rose high in my sky.

She wore a bright floral dress and heels.

I have watched and admired Michelle Obama since her first television appearances back when her husband Barack ran for President of the United States of America.

I had the absolute pleasure and distinct honour to be among the many thousand people in attendance to see and hear  Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the United States of America.

Canadian Olympic Hockey two-time gold medal winner Cassie Campbell moderated the conversation.

We listened as Michelle recalled her childhood.

She was just like all the other girls and, never dreamed that her life would someday take her to the White House.

When asked what she wanted to do when she grew up, she replied “a Paediatrician” because the adults would be pleased with that choice.

She was born in urban Chicago, Illinois in 1964.

Her Father provided for the family while her Mother was a homemaker.

They were not a wealthy family but education was important to her parents and she was loved.

It was seeing her Father go to work everyday while he suffered from multiple sclerosis that gave her the determination to do well at school.

 

Michelle met Barack when he was a Summer Associate at the same same law firm.  They asked her to be his mentor / advisor (she thought likely because he was a young

black man.  She was not really impressed with him, as he was late on the first day. They did become good friends before their first date.

 

She spoke about how Barack went from being a Senator to running for President of the United States.

In the beginning she did not think he would be elected but by the time they campaigned in IOWA, things had changed.

IOWA in the primaries.

If you do well, it is a good indicator that you will win the election.

THEY WON.

There were stories of the Inauguration which mostly Michelle said were a “blur.”

The First Lady told of her first month in the White House and how they basically went from their home to the White House overnight.

The staff at the White House moves one First Family out and the next one in, in only a few hours.

This happens while they are at the inauguration – swearing in ceremonies.

During the first month it was all about getting their girls settled in school and into the “House.”

 

The First Lady spoke about working on those things that she wanted to champion during her time at the White House.

They worked on those initiatives during the first year before making them public.

She started with a vegetable and fruit garden.

The garden was planted on the grounds of the White House.

It was a great place to begin as who could find “fault” with carrots and peas.

It was a garden, only a garden, after all.

The garden was her first step in addressing the childhood obesity in the United States.

After that first year she launched, and led four key initiatives:  Let’s Move!, to address the challenge of childhood obesity; Joining Forces, to support veterans, service members and their families; Reach Higher,

to inspire young people to seek higher education; and Let Girls Learn, to help adolescent girls around the world go to school.

She continues this work today.

 

She briefly spoke about their two dogs Bo and Sunny.

 

We laughed as Michelle told about the differences between the East and West Wings of the White House.

The East Wing was the fun side and the West Wing was the dead side.

East Wing houses the First Lady and her staff.

Although they had serious initiatives and work to do,  they had made it fun.

Michelle had a bowl of apples in her office and joked about the National Security Advisor coming to her office and not wanting to leave.

She gave him an apple and told him he had to go back to the West Wing.

We know that in all of the serious business – she has a sense of humour.

The West Wing houses the Oval Office, the Situation Room and the offices of the President’s staff.

A much different environment.

 

When asked about Hillary Clinton and a female President of the United States – she told the audience that women did not vote for Hillary – women were not ready for a female 

President.  She was hopefully someday there would be a female President and many more minorities in government.

 

She talked about her daughters growing up in the White House.

Her Mother stayed with them and helped with the girls.

They had sleepovers and tried to keep the girls grounded.

She teased about the girls and school saying that even though their Dad was the President, they still had to go to school.

There was even a sleepover on the night before they left the White House.

Scrambling to get everyone out that day.

 

Michelle spoke of travelling the globe and meeting some of the most influential people of our time.

She met two Popes, the Queen of England and many others.

The one person that had the largest impact on her was Nelson Mandela.

She mentioned about taking her daughters and mother to meet former President Mandela and his family.

By this time his health was not good.

Nelson Mandela fought for his South Africa his whole life never giving up.

After being imprisoned for decades he went to become the first black President of South Africa.

He was a great man.

 

We listened and applauded Michelle during the sixty plus minutes of conversation with Cassie.

She did not disappoint.

 

At present they continue to work with their Foundation to help Youth, the future of our planet.

The future is very important to the Obamas.

It was obvious that she is young at heart and that she was ever evolving and growing.

 

She is probably the most engaging speaker that I have ever heard.

The main reason for sharing my Michelle Obama experience is for two reasons: for future years when I may not remember what she spoke about and for those girls, women who were not able to see and hear her

in person.

I know one thing for certain when I am ninety years old, I will always remember the moment she stepped out onto the stage at Rogers Place here in Edmonton, and was visible on the large screen.

The feelings that rose in me bringing tears to my eyes, because at that very moment,  I knew that I was in the presence of someone, not just anyone, but this truly genuine, warm, humble, compassionate, intelligent

remarkable woman.  I realized that to be where and who she is that having a sense of humour was important.  She is a funny lady in addition to all of the other qualities.

A woman that is changing not only the United States of America but is changing and challenging the WORLD.

 

Michelle Obama will forever be remembered for her compassion, her work with children and families, her never ending energy, her warmth, charm and wit.

I was truly touched by this woman.

How could you not want to be a better person, a better woman, a better mother and inhabitant of this planet.

Thank you Michelle for coming to Edmonton.

 

****************************************************

Time to get dressed and head out for coffee with the girls.

Special Hello to: all those women in my life who continue to inspire me each and every day.

Always, Carol & Alvin

 

P.S.  this is going to be one post that I keep going back and editing (adding to).  Had coffee with the girls and thought of more things that were discussed at the Conversation with Michelle Obama.

 

 

 

 

 

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