If You Were Dying, And Your Kid Was About to Make History

Inspired by Obama flying to be with his dying grandmother and people wondering if it’ll hurt his campaign or not… I can’t help but think that if I were in her shoes, I wouldn’t want him to come and see me one last time, if I thought I was going to cack it before the election. Not that it would in all probability affect the campaign, but why take the chance? And I’d not want the family to tell him anything about my condition, so as not to distract him.

Sure, it’d be nice to see him before I shuffled off this mortal coil, but no matter what kind of afterlife there is, I’m not going to be troubled by mortal affairs. He might not be happy about it, but screw it. He’ll get over it. Not to mention, if I somehow managed to hang on until election day and he lost because worrying about me took his focus off of things, well, that’d probably kill me.

What say you? You’re dying, your son/daughter was just days away from making history, would you want one last visit? Or would you be content in knowing that you had spent a great number of years with him/her?

If it was going to negatively affect his chances, I wouldn’t want him to come and see me. I’m not real big on the whole death bed scene and would rather die quickly without putting anyone through the grief and weirdness of my last moments on earth.

Maybe this makes me a selfish person, but if I’m dying, then yes, I do want to see my beloved family one last time. And if my mother or grandmother were dying, there’s not a power on Earth that could keep me away from their side.

You know, hearing that he stopped his campaign to go visit Grandma made me think “good.”

I think there’s lots of Blacks, Hispanics and other not-anglo ethnicities who’ll share that opinion.

So why do you assume that going to visit Grandma is a negative? My most-cynical self reckons it may be killing two birds with one stone, my non-cynical self would be mighty pissed if my relatives hid “your Grandma is dying” from me “for my own good.” Dude’s old enough to make his own decisions.

I “abandoned my career in the United States to go back to a country with no future” (my bf’s words as he proposed, right before I left - suggestion: don’t dis your SO’s country during your proposal) because I don’t like being blackmailed (my employer was refusing to give me the documents I needed to renew my work permit, but of course they wanted me to go on working) and because my Dad was dying and I wanted to be able to go to the funeral.

First, and admittedly tangentially to the question, just for one moment imagine what discussion would be going on if he did not go and instead left his poor suffering grandmother to die all, all aloooooone while he carries on giving speeches and attending rallies with whatever special interest group(s) are slotted in for that day and a half.

Second, of course I would want my child – or my grandchild whom I had raised – to come see me when I was dying assuming that were possible.

And third, if my grandmother who raised me were dying there is no job interview in the world that would keep me from them in their last illness, not even the year long job interview for POTUS. Possibly less so in that case. I am pleased to find out that at least one candidate is a human raised by a family of humans rather than a hand puppet with some seriously questionable priorities.

It would make him look like a self-centered jerk if he didn’t go visit grandma at a time like this. That would definitely hurt him.

Regardless, I feel that family bonds are more important than politics anyway.

Of course he should go. She’s family.

It’s not going to hurt him politically, anyway.

Why wouldn’t his Grandmother want to see him one last time? She might say she’d rather he concentrated on the campaign, she might tell him not to come, she might feel guilty that he took that time away… but don’t you think she’d still be glad to see him regardless? Particularly knowing that he was just about the busiest man in the country right now and that he still made time for her… that’s a sweet parting gift.

I’d think far less of the man if he didn’t go to her side. It’s right and good that he went to her.

I would want my son or daughter to make up their own mind. Sure, I’d like the chance to say goodbye; but I also understand that life doesn’t always allow for it. I let my kids run their own lives and make their own choices; I trust them to make a wise decision.

I also think it’s right for Obama to visit his grandmom, but that wasn’t your question. :wink:

In an ideal situation I’d die painlessly in my sleep, at a very very old age. Hopefully for my family members it’d be sad but not surprising, and not a process of drawn-out waiting.

If for whatever reason I were in a hospital, I’d tell the kid it was sweet but unnecessary–history’s waiting for them.

I wouldn’t want a president who wouldn’t go visit his dying grandmother.

Were I his grandmother, however, I would understand if the visit were a short one. With cameras.


Only without the cameras. I’d want to know that you remembered what I had taught you.

i can’t imagine anyone not understanding him taking the time to go home to see his grandmother.

i also agree, with ethilrist’s statement. i’m sure as with his other visits home, the camera crew will not be there.

I’m baffled why you think this would affect him negatively in any way.

“He cares more about his Grandma than campaigning” is just the kind of “real” shit that shallow voters live for. In fact, it’s the polar opposite of McCain’s campaign suspension trick (when he still ran ads and still gave interviews) in that Obama is actually following through with the idea of putting some things above politics. Basically, it’s his “He seems like he’d be fun to have a beer with” moment.

Yeah, I think this will be a ‘good’ moment. Certainly it’s what I would do, and it’s what I consider to be the basic humanly decent thing to do. If he’s going to win, I hope she hangs on long enough to see it.

From a pure, cold, calculating political viewpoint, this will certainly help his campaign. It shows him to be living the family values everyone talks about, and also shows that he values doing right by his family above political campaigning.

Also, while he’s gone, his opponents would have a hard time attacking him without seeming ungenerous. McCain and Palin will have to say something about their prayers and thoughts being with Obama and his grandmother. If they try to attack him, they really will turn off voters. They may have to pull all their attack ads for a little while.

I can even see some real wackos on the right wing complaining that this was all a political ploy.

But politics aside, I think it’s the right thing for Obama, and if I were his grandmother, I’d be comforted to know that he thinks enough of me to put me above running for President.

The idea that my child is about to be President (possibly), but is still someone I think should be should be spared the harsh truth for his own good, is disturbing (unless i’m Bar Bush).

If Obama handles this with the grace and devotion I expect he will, and comes back more determined than ever to live up to Mrs. Dunham’s legacy, he will just look more presidential than ever.

I would think that if I had raised a child that I expected to be able to run a country he had damn well better be able to figure out not only the logistics of a campaign and stopping by a somewhat remote state, but he had also better suck it up and learn how to lead in the face of personal tragedy because this may not be the worst thing he’s going to go through.

Also, I would have enough respect for my child to let him make the decision whether to come himself. He’s a big boy - I expect him to make history, after all!

But maybe I’m too hard on my sons…

This is one of those situations where you, as the ailing person, say “Oh, don’t bother with me” and (as expected) the relatives say “It’s no problem.” Even if my kid was running for president, I think I’d be pretty lonely if he/she was too busy to visit at the end. Let’s not forget that Obama was mostly raised by his grandparents, and he’s only been able to spend time with his grandmother once since he started running for president in early 2007.

I’d go, “Don’t interrupt your campaign on my account… just because it may be the last chance you get to see me is no reason to stop running for president… after all, there’s a chance I’ll make it to January, I’ll see you at the inauguration… if it’s not too late.”

But then, I’m passive-agressive that way.