To the Editor: ‘Vote your conscience, but vote to protect all of us’

Still pretty sharp at age 96 and daily observing the highly intensive political and pandemic news, I think back on my mother, Madeline Snelen. Born in 1887 in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and after losing her first husband, she and her second husband, a veteran of World War I, permanently disabled due to mustard gas exposure, moved their young family to Whittier, California.

Mother survived the Spanish Flu, survived the Great Depression, survived the Long Beach/Carson earthquake, successfully raised her family during the Polio epidemic, and having two sons who survived the Battle of the Bulge and the war in the Pacific, she never complained. Living on a nurse’s aide salary and veteran’s benefits, anyone that came to her door, got whatever she could spare. She was the epitome “of her brother’s keeper.”

Born and raised in the deep south, as a diminutive female, she lived a life devoid of racial prejudice, not afraid to call out blatant racism. She was a consummate role model for her family, now in the third following generation. She voted her conscience in every election. Vote your conscience, but vote to protect all of us. Be your brother’s keeper.

Barbara Auld

Story First Published: 2020-10-30