Just read that Toot, Obama’s mom’s mom in Hawaii, died early this morning. So so sad that she couldn’t have hung on one more day to hear that her dear grandson was elected President – the first African-American in our history.
Toot was a crucial stabilizing element in Barack’s life, and made sure he got the best possible education – as well as a lot of love. Amazing story in Obama’s first book, The Audacity of Hope. Absolutely worth reading to understand the boy he was and the fine man he’s become.
Thanks for all you did, Toot. We salute you… hope you’re watching from on high.
Update: this is what Obama said about her today in North Carolina:
Obviously, this is a little bit of a bittersweet time for me. We have had a remarkable campaign. And, you know, when we started 21 months ago, I didn’t know how it would turn out. And no matter what happens tomorrow, I’m going to feel good about how its turned out because all of you have created this incredible campaign. Some of you have heard that my grandmother who helped raise me passed away early this morning. And look, she has gone home. And she died peacefully in her sleep. With my sister at her side. And so there is great joy as well as tears. I’m not going to talk about it too long because its hard, a little, to talk about.
I want everybody to know, though, a little bit about her. Her name was Madelyn Dunham. She was born in Kansas in a small town in 1922. Which means that she lived through the Great Depression, she lived through two World Wars, she watched her husband go off to war while she looked after a baby and worked on a bomber assembly line. When her husband came back, they benefited from the GI Bill and they moved West and eventually ended up in Hawaii. And she was somebody who was a very humble person and a very plainspoken person.
She was one of those quiet heroes that we have all across America who, they’re not famous, their names aren’t in the newspapers, but each and every day, they work hard. They look after their families. They sacrifice for their children and their grandchildren. They aren’t seeking the limelight. All they try to do is just do the right thing.
And in this crowd, there are a lot of quiet heroes like that. Mothers and fathers, grandparents who have worked hard and sacrificed all their lives. And the satisfaction that they get is seeing that their children and maybe their grandchildren, or their great grandchildren, live a better life than they did. That’s what America is about. That’s what we’re fighting for. And North Carolina, in just one more day, we have the opportunity to honor all those quiet heroes all across America, and all across North Carolina. To bring change to America to make sure that their work and their sacrifice is honored. That’s what we’re fighting for.