We couldn’t let Monday go by without highlighting this beautiful piece from Medium.  Micheline Maynard dissects the photo below from Barbara Bush’s funeral and what’s been lost in America.

Our thanks to Cindy from Washington, who forwarded that piece to us.  She added some of her own wonderful prose after reading Maynard’s story.  This is her guest column:

Crying as I read this, because I miss our functional democracy SO much. I miss compromise. I miss debate. I miss respectful disagreement. I miss real government, where the people in charge may have as many differences and ideals and priorities as there are seats in the room, but at the end of the day, they do their best for the people they represent.

Our country certainly wasn’t perfect, but we knew that, and as we came to terms with both our past and our future, we were slowly getting better. The suffragette movement, the Civil Rights era, the recent recognition of same-sex marriage: with each passing decade, We the People have inched our way towards true equality, and each small step on that road has made our nation stronger.

My god, I NEVER thought that as an American, I would have to say that I miss a time when our president didn’t openly slander and demean and taunt his own people and the rest of the world, every single day. Or that I miss opening the paper and not even imagining I should feel relief that there is no front-page story of hate-based violence, legislation, or propaganda.

I certainly couldn’t have believed that I would ever have to watch everything — everything GOOD — from the free and ample education of our children to the protection of their hard-earned financial gains later in life, from the enduring beauty of our national parklands to the calm security built over decades by our dedicated diplomats and international alliances — everything that made our nation so wonderful, so noble, so vibrant and successful — being ripped apart from the inside by people specifically placed there for that exact purpose, AND TO BE UNABLE TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

So yes, I’m crying. At a photo of what we’ve all so recently lost.