To celebrate his 80th birthday in October, my sister and I traveled with my father to India. He had been back only once, with my husband and brother-in-law ten years ago, since graduating in 1952. This time around, my sister and I were not going to miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime father/daughter adventure.
Tragically -- and it is indeed one of the great tragedies of American history -- as soon as he became president, Obama left behind that powerful force of the spirit into which he'd tapped as a candidate. As the Republicans tried out their "make him fail" strategy in opposition, he did nothing to rally America to its better angels.
Now that I'm over 50, I've become particularly curious about my lineage. I didn't much care about it when I was in my 20s, 30s or 40s but I now feel a strong urge to learn about my roots. Am I distantly related to Lincoln or Gandhi or Dickens or Attila the Hun? Okay, Attila the Hun might be a stretch.