Gratitude 018: Michelle Obama

I’m going to miss the stability, honor, and respect the Obama family brought to the White House. A week ago, I sent a letter to the President and a separate letter to the First Lady to thank them for their service to our country during the past eight years.

Michelle Obama began a number of official initiatives designed to improve the lives and health of children in our nation. What I appreciated most about her work, though, was how she was the chief encourager of our nation’s children. Over the past few weeks, I have seen messages from young adults who are grateful to Mrs. Obama for helping them to see that they “mattered” and were “special.” Michelle Obama used her celebrity to consistently preach the message that our nation cares about its children and their futures. She repeatedly expressed that each child matters and each child should have access to opportunity in this nation. She helped countless youth to grow in self-respect and look to a brighter tomorrow. She stayed positive and upbeat during her time in the White House, even though she and her husband were constant targets of negativity.

Speaking of her husband, I also thanked her for her role in supporting him during his presidency. I’ve rarely thought about how difficult it must be to be the spouse of someone with no much pressure on his shoulders, but just few moments of consideration¬†reveal how challenging and draining it must be. Though Michelle may not have been personally responsible for the multitude of crucial decisions that needed to be made each and every day, I’m sure she bore the emotional weight of these decisions with her husband. When he was under fire for an international incident, I’m sure she felt the blows as well. When his opponents were tearing him down, she was undoubtedly wounded in kind. The strains of the office that take a visible physical toll on each president must have been felt by Michelle as well. It could not have been easy to raise two daughters and support the leader of the free world under the brightest spotlight day in and day out, yet she conducted herself with grace each and every day.

Thank you, Michelle Obama, for radiating positivity and encouraging our nation’s youth.

Image: The White House. Taken August 20, 2011 by me.

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