U.S. Senate Seats up for Reelection in 2022

There are a total of 535 Members of Congress. 100 serve in the U.S. Senate, and 435 serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Each state sends two Senators to represent their state in the U.S. Senate. In the Senate, the majority has the power to schedule when various bills come to the floor for voting, but a single Senator can slow legislation from coming to the floor for a vote.

Since debate in the Senate is not concluded until 60 Senators vote for a cloture motion to approve a bill for consideration, the majority must also coordinate with the minority party to set the rules for debate on legislation.

Under this system, legislation can be debated for one or two weeks on the Senate floor alone.

The United States Senate elections will be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Thirty-four of the 100 Senate seats are up for reelection.

The GOP will have to defend more Senate seats than Democrats. As of now, there will be 20 Republican Senate seats on the line, while Democrats will need to protect 14 seats.

The winners of those seats will serve a six-year term from January 3, 2023, until January 3, 2029.

Elections to the Senate are staggered over even years so that only about 1/3 of the Senate is up for reelection during any election.

To contact your Senator click here.

Below are the 34 Senate seats up for reelection in 2022 in alphabetical order by political party and state, as well as the listing of Senators up for reelection in 2024 and 2026.

Democrats up for reelection in 2022:

Arizona: Mark Kelly

California: Alex Padilla

Colorado: Michael Bennet

Connecticut: Richard Blumenthal

Georgia: Raphael Warnock

Hawaii: Brian Schatz

Illinois: Tammy Duckworth

Maryland: Chris Van Hollen

Nevada: Catherine Cortez Masto

New Hampshire: Maggie Hassan

New York: Chuck Schumer

Oregon: Ron Wyden

Vermont: Patrick Leahy

Washington: Patty Murray

Republicans up for reelection in 2022:

Alabama: Richard Shelby

Alaska: Lisa Murkowski

Arkansas: John Boozman

Florida: Marco Rubio

Idaho: Mike Crapo

Indiana: Todd Young

Iowa: Chuck Grassley

Kansas: Jerry Moran

Kentucky: Rand Paul

Louisiana: John N. Kennedy

Missouri: Roy Blunt

North Carolina: Richard Burr (Retiring)

North Dakota:  John Hoeven

Ohio: Rob Portman

Oklahoma: James Lankford

Pennsylvania: Pat Toomey

South Carolina: Tim Scott

South Dakota: John Thune

Utah: Mike Lee

Wisconsin: Ron Johnson (Retiring)

Democrats up for reelection in 2024:

Arizona: Kyrsten Sinema

California: Dianne Feinstein

Connecticut: Chris Murphy

Delaware: Tom Carper

Hawaii: Mazie Hirono

Maryland: Ben Cardin

Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren

Michigan: Debbie Stabenow

Minnesota: Amy Klobuchar

Montana: Jon Tester

Nevada: Jacky Rosen

New Jersey: Bob Menendez

New Mexico: Martin Heinrich

New York: Kirsten Gillibrand

Ohio: Sherrod Brown

Pennsylvania: Bob Casey Jr.

Rhode Island: Sheldon Whitehouse

Virginia: Tim Kaine

Washington: Maria Cantwell

West Virginia: Joe Manchin

Wisconsin: Tammy Baldwin

Independents up for reelection in 2024:

Maine: Angus King

Vermont: Bernie Sanders

Republicans up for reelection in 2024:

Florida: Rick Scott

Indiana: Mike Braun

Mississippi: Roger Wicker

Missouri: Josh Hawley

Nebraska: Deb Fischer

North Dakota: Kevin Cramer

Tennessee: Marsha Blackburn

Texas: Ted Cruz

Utah: Mitt Romney

Wyoming: John Barrasso

Democrats up for reelection in 2026:

Colorado: John Hickenlooper

Delaware: Chris Coons

Georgia: Jon Ossoff

Illinois: Dick Durbin

Massachusetts: Ed Markey

Michigan: Gary Peters

Minnesota: Tina Smith

New Hampshire: Jeanne Shaheen

New Jersey: Cory Booker

New Mexico: Ben Ray Lujan

Oregon: Jeff Merkley

Rhode Island: Jack Reed

Virginia: Mark Warner

Republicans up for reelection in 2026:

Alabama: Tommy Tuberville

Alaska: Dan Sullivan

Arkansas: Tom Cotton

Colorado: Cory Gardner

Idaho: James Risch

Iowa: Joni Ernst

Kansas: Roger Marshall

Kentucky: Mitch McConnell

Louisiana: Bill Cassidy

Maine: Susan Collins

Mississippi: Cindy Hyde-Smith

Montana: Steve Daines

Nebraska: Ben Sasse

North Carolina: Thom Tillis

Oklahoma: Jim Inhofe

South Carolina: Lindsey Graham

South Dakota: Mike Rounds

Tennessee: Bill Hagerty

Texas: John Cornyn

West Virginia: Shelley Moore Capito

Wyoming: Cynthia Lummis

Current Members of the U.S. House of Representatives

The 435 U.S. House of Representatives, along with the 100 who serve in the Senate, composes the legislature of the United States.

Elections to the United States House of Representatives were held on November 3, 2020, and since they serve two-year terms, all 435 will be up for reelection in 2022.

A member of the House is referred to as a Representative, Congressman, or Congresswoman.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives each represent a portion of their state known as a Congressional District, which averages 700,000 people. Senators, however, represent the entire state.

Under Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution, in the House of Representatives, a state’s representation is based on its population as measured by the U.S. Census.

Each state, however, is entitled to at least one Representative. For example, smaller states like Vermont and Delaware have one representative, while larger states like California have 53 representatives.

The Constitution does not provide for the representation of the District of Columbia or the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Marina Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, although each is represented by one non-voting delegate. They have a voice on the floor but have no voting power.

The House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, otherwise known as bills, which, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the President for consideration.

The House also has the exclusive power to initiate bills for raising revenue, to impeach officials, and to choose the President in the event that a presidential candidate fails to get a majority of the Electoral College votes.

The House of Representatives is informally referred to as the “lower” house, while the Senate is referred to as the “upper” house.

The party with the majority of seats in the House is known as the majority party.

In the House of Representatives, the majority party holds significant power to draft chamber rules and schedule bills to reach the floor for debate and voting.

In most cases, House rules will limit debate so that important legislation can be passed during one legislative business day.

To run for House of Representatives, he or she must be at least 25 years of age, have been a citizen of the United States for at least 7 years, and at the time of the election be a resident of the state they represent.   Members are not required to live in the district they represent, but they traditionally do.

Of the current 435 members of the House, 222 are Democrats, 211 are Republicans, and there are two vacancies (Louisiana District 5, and New York District 22).

To contact your Representative click here.

Below is the complete list of current members of the United States House of Representatives by political party and State:

DEMOCRATS

Alabama (District 7): Terri Sewell

Arizona (District 1): Tom O’Halleran

Arizona (District 2): Ann Kirkpatrick

Arizona (District 3): Raul Grijalva

Arizona (District 7): Ruben Gallego

Arizona (District 9): Greg Stanton

California (District 2): Jared Huffman

California (District 3): John Garamendi

California (District 5): Mike Thompson

California (District 6): Doris Matsui

California (District 7): Ami Bera

California (District 9): Jerry McNerney

California (District 10): Josh Harder

California (District 11): Mark DeSaulnier

California (District 12): Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House)

California (District 13): Barbara Lee

California (District 14): Jackie Speier

California (District 15): Eric Swalwell

California (District 16): Jim Costa

California (District 17): Ro Khanna

California (District 18): Anna Eshoo

California (District 19): Zoe Lofgren

California (District 20): Jimmy Panetta

California (District 24): Salud Carbajal

California (District 26): Julia Brownley

California (District 27): Judy Chu

California (District 28): Adam Schiff

California (District 29): Tony Cardenas

California (District 30): Brad Sherman

California (District 31): Pete Aguilar

California (District 32): Grace Napolitano

California (District 33): Ted Lieu

California (District 34):  Jimmy Gomez

California (District 35): Norma Torres

California (District 36): Raul Ruiz

California (District 37): Karen Bass

California (District 38): Linda Sanchez

California (District 40): Lucille Roybal-Allard

California (District 41): Mark Takano

California (District 43): Maxine Waters

California (District 44): Nanette Barragan

California (District 45): Katie Porter

California (District 46): Lou Correa

California (District 47): Alan Lowenthal

California (District 49): Mike Levin

California (District 51): Juan Vargas

California (District 52): Scott Peters

California (District 53): Sara Jacobs

Colorado (District 1): Diana DeGette

Colorado (District 2): Joe Neguse

Colorado (District 6): Jason Crow

Colorado (District 7): Ed Perlmutter

Connecticut (District 1): John B. Larson

Connecticut (District 2): Joe Courtney

Connecticut (District 3): Rosa DeLauro

Connecticut (District 4): Jim Hines

Connecticut (District 5): Jahana Hayes

Delaware (At Large): Lisa Blunt Rochester

Florida (District 5): Al Lawson

Florida (District 7): Stephanie Murphy

Florida (District 9): Darren Soto

Florida (District 10): Val Demings

Florida (District 13): Charlie Crist

Florida (District 14): Kathy Castor

Florida (District 20): Alcee Hastings

Florida (District 21): Lois Frankel

Florida (District 22): Ted Deutch

Florida (District 23): Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Florida (District 24): Frederica Wilson

Georgia (District 2): Sanford Bishop

Georgia (District 4): Hank Johnson

Georgia (District 5): Nikema Williams

Georgia (District 6): Lucy McBath

Georgia (District 7): Carolyn Bourdeaux

Georgia (District 13): David Scott

Hawaii (District 1): Ed Case

Hawaii (District 2): Kai Kahele

Illinois (District 1): Bobby Rush

Illinois (District 2): Robin Kelly

Illinois (District 3): Marie Newman

Illinois (District 4): Jesus “Chuy” Garcia

Illinois (District 5): Mike Quigley

Illinois (District 6): Sean Casten

Illinois (District 7): Danny K. Davis

Illinois (District 8): Raja Krishnamoorthi

Illinois (District 9): Jan Schakowsky

Illinois (District 10): Brad Schneider

Illinois (District 11): Bill Foster

Illinois (District 14): Lauren Underwood

Illinois (District 17): Cheri Bustos

Indiana (District 1): Frank J. Mrvan

Indiana (District 7): Andre Carson

Iowa (District 3): Cindy Axne

Kansas (District 3): Sharice Davids

Kentucky (District 3): John Yarmuth

Louisiana (District 2): Cedric Richmond

Maine (District 1): Chellie Pingree

Maine (District 2): Jared Golden

Maryland (District 2): Dutch Ruppersberger

Maryland (District 3): John Sarbanes

Maryland (District 4): Anthony G. Brown

Maryland (District 5): Steny Hoyer

Maryland (District 6): David Trone

Maryland (District 7): Kweisi Mfume

Maryland (District 8): Jamie Raskin

Massachusetts (District 1): Richard Neal

Massachusetts (District 2): Jim McGovern

Massachusetts (District 3): Lori Trahan

Massachusetts (District 4): Jake Auchincloss

Massachusetts (District 5): Katherine Clark

Massachusetts (District 6): Seth Moulton

Massachusetts (District 7): Ayanna Pressley

Massachusetts (District 8): Stephen F. Lynch

Massachusetts (District 9): Bill Keating

Michigan (District 5): Dan Kildee

Michigan (District 8): Elissa Slotkin

Michigan (District 9): Andy Levin

Michigan (District 11): Haley Stevens

Michigan (District 12): Debbie Dingell

Michigan (District 13): Rashida Tlaib

Michigan (District 14): Brenda Lawrence

Minnesota (District 2): Angie Craig

Minnesota (District 3): Dean Phillips

Minnesota (District 4): Betty McCollum

Minnesota (District 5): Ilan Omar

Mississippi (District 2): Bennie Thompson

Missouri (District 1): Cori Bush

Missouri (District 5): Emanuel Cleaver

Nevada (District 1): Dina Titus

Nevada (District 3): Susie Lee

Nevada (District 4): Steven Horsford

New Hampshire (District 1): Chris Pappas

New Hampshire (District 2): Ann McLane Kuster

New Jersey (District 1): Donald Norcross

New Jersey (District 3): Andy Kim

New Jersey (District 5): Josh Gottheimer

New Jersey (District 6): Frank Pallone

New Jersey (District 7): Tom Malinowski

New Jersey (District 8): Albio Sires

New Jersey (District 9): Bill Pascrell

New Jersey (District 10): Donald Payne, Jr.

New Jersey (District 11): Mikie Sherill

New Jersey (District 12): Bonnie Watson Coleman

New Mexico (District 1): Deb Haaland

New Mexico (District 3): Teresa Leger Fernandez

New York (District 3): Thomas Suozzi

New York (District 4): Kathleen Rice

New York (District 5): Gregory Meeks

New York (District 6): Grace Meng

New York (District 7): Nydia Velazquez

New York (District 8): Hakeem Jeffries

New York (District 9): Yvette Clarke

New York (District 10): Jerry Nadler

New York (District 12): Carolyn Maloney

New York (District 13): Adriano Espaillat

New York (District 14): Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

New York (District 15): Ritchie Torres

New York (District 16): Jamaal Bowman

New York (District 17): Mondaire Jones

New York (District 18): Sean Patrick Maloney

New York (District 19): Antonio Delgado

New York (District 20): Paul Tonko

New York (District 25): Joseph Morelle

New York (District 26): Brian Higgins

North Carolina (District 1): G.K. Butterfield

North Carolina (District 2): Deborah K. Ross

North Carolina (District 4): David Price

North Carolina (District 6): Kathy Manning

North Carolina (District 12): Alma Adams

Ohio (District 3): Joyce Beatty

Ohio (District 9): Marcy Kaptur

Ohio (District 11): Marcia Fudge

Ohio (District 13): Tim Ryan

Oregon (District 1): Suzanne Bonamici

Oregon (District 3) Earl Blumenauer

Oregon (District 4): Peter DeFazio

Oregon (District 5): Kurt Schrader

Pennsylvania (District 2): Brendan Boyle

Pennsylvania (District 3): Dwight Evans

Pennsylvania (District 4): Madeleine Dean

Pennsylvania (District 5): Mary Gay Scanlon

Pennsylvania (District 6): Chrissy Houlahan

Pennsylvania (District 7): Susan Wild

Pennsylvania (District 8): Matt Cartwright

Pennsylvania (District 17): Connor Lamb

Pennsylvania (District 18): Mike Doyle

Rhode Island (District 1): David Cicilline

Rhode Island (District 2): Jim Langevin

South Carolina (District 6): Jim Clyburn

Tennessee (District 5): Jim Cooper

Tennessee (District 9): Steve Cohen

Texas (District 7): Lizzie Fletcher

Texas (District 9): Al Green

Texas (District 15): Vicente Gonzalez

Texas (District 16): Veronica Escobar

Texas (District 18): Sheila Jackson Lee

Texas (District 20): Joaquin Castro

Texas (District 28): Henry Cuellar

Texas (District 29): Sylvia Garcia

Texas (District 30): Eddie Johnson

Texas (District 32): Colin Allred

Texas (District 33): Marc Veasey

Texas (District 34): Filemon Vela, Jr.

Texas (District 35): Lloyd Doggett

Vermont (At Large): Peter Welch

Virginia (District 2): Elaine Luria

Virginia (District 3): Bobby Scott

Virginia (District 4): Donald McEachin

Virginia (District 7): Abigail Spanberger

Virginia (District 8): Don Beyer

Virginia (District 10): Jennifer Wexton

Virginia (District 11): Gerry Connolly

Washington (District 1): Suzan DelBene

Washington (District 2): Rick Larsen

Washington (District 6): Derek Kilmer

Washington (District 7): Pramila Jayapal

Washington (District 8): Kim Schrier

Washington (District 9): Adam Smith

Washington (District 10): Marilyn Strickland

Wisconsin (District 2): Mark Pocan

Wisconsin (District 3): Ron Kind

Wisconsin (District 4): Gwen Moore

REPUBLICANS

Alabama (District 1): Jerry Carl

Alabama (District 2): Barry Moore

Alabama (District 3): Mike Rogers

Alabama (District 4): Robert Aderholt

Alabama (District 5): Mo Brooks

Alabama (District 6): Gary Palmer

Alaska (At Large): Don Young

Arizona (District 4): Paul Gosar

Arizona (District 5) Andy Biggs

Arizona (District 6): David Schweikert

Arizona (District 8): Debbie Lesko

Arkansas (District 1): Rick Crawford

Arkansas (District 2): French Hill

Arkansas (District 3): Steve Womack

Arkansas (District 4): Bruce Westerman

California (District 1): Doug LaMalfa

California (District 4): Tom McClintock

California (District 8): Jay Obernolte

California (District 21): David Valadao

California (District 22): Devin Nunes

California (District 23): Kevin McCarthy

California (District 25): Mike Garcia

California (District 42): Ken Calvert

California (District 48): Michelle Steel

California (District 50):  Darrell Issa

Colorado (District 3): Lauren Boebert

Colorado (District 4): Ken Buck

Colorado (District 5): Doug Lamborn

Florida (District 1): Matt Gaetz

Florida (District 2): Neal Dunn

Florida (District 3): Kat Cammack

Florida (District 4): John Rutherford

Florida (District 6): Michael Waltz

Florida (District 8): Bill Posey

Florida (District 11): Daniel Webster

Florida (District 12): Gus Bilirakis

Florida (District 15): Scott Franklin

Florida (District 16): Vern Buchanan

Florida (District 17): Greg Steube

Florida (District 18): Brian Mast

Florida (District 19): Byron Donalds

Florida (District 25): Mario Diaz-Balart

Florida (District 26): Carlos Gimenez

Florida (District 27): Maria Elvira Salazar

Georgia (District 1): Buddy Carter

Georgia (District 3): Drew Ferguson

Georgia (District 8): Austin Scott

Georgia (District 9): Andrew Clyde

Georgia (District 10): Jody Hice

Georgia (District 11): Barry Loudermilk

Georgia (District 12): Rick W. Allen

Georgia (District 14): Marjorie Taylor Greene

Idaho (District 1): Russ Fulcher

Idaho (District 2): Mike Simpson

Illinois (District 12): Mike Bost

Illinois (District 13): Rodney Davis

Illinois (District 15): Mary Miller

Illinois (District 16): Adam Kinzinger

Illinois (District 18): Darin LaHood

Indiana (District 2): Jackie Walorski

Indiana (District 3): Jim Banks

Indiana (District 4): Jim Baird

Indiana (District 5): Victoria Spartz

Indiana (District 6): Greg Pence

Indiana (District 8): Larry Bucshon

Indiana (District 9): Trey Hollingsworth

Iowa (District 1): Ashley Hinson

Iowa (District 2): Mariannette Miller-Meeks

Iowa (District 4): Randy Feenstra

Kansas (District 1): Tracey Mann

Kansas: (District 2): Jake LaTurner

Kansas: (District 4): Ron Estes

Kentucky (District 1): James Comer

Kentucky (District 2): Brett Guthrie

Kentucky (District 4): Thomas Massie

Kentucky (District 5): Hal Rogers

Kentucky (District 6): Andy Barr

Louisiana (District 1): Steve Scalise

Louisiana (District 3): Clay Higgins

Louisiana (District 4): Mike Johnson

Louisiana (District 6): Garret Graves

Maryland (District 1): Andy Harris

Michigan (District 1): Jack Bergman

Michigan (District 2): Bill Huizenga

Michigan (District 3): Peter Meijer

Michigan (District 4): John Moolenaar

Michigan (District 6): Fred Upton

Michigan (District 7): Tim Walberg

Michigan (District 10): Lisa McClain

Minnesota (District 1): Jim Hagedorn

Minnesota (District 6): Tom Emmer

Minnesota (District 7): Michelle Fischbach

Minnesota (District 8): Pete Stauber

Mississippi (District 1): Trent Kelly

Mississippi (District 3): Michael Guest

Mississippi (District 4): Steven Palazzo

Missouri (District 2): Ann Wagner

Missouri (District 3): Blaine Luetkemeyer

Missouri (District 4): Vicky Hartzler

Missouri (District 6): Sam Graves

Missouri (District 7): Billy Long

Missouri (District 8): Jason Smith

Montana (At Large): Matt Rosendale

Nebraska (District 1): Jeff Fortenberry

Nebraska (District 2): Don Bacon

Nebraska (District 3): Adrian Smith

Nevada (District 2): Mark Amodei

New Jersey (District 2): Jeff Van Drew

New Jersey (District 4): Chris Smith

New Mexico (District 2): Yvette Herrell

New York (District 1): Lee Zeldin

New York (District 2): Andrew Garbarino

New York (District 11): Nicole Malliotakis

New York (District 21): Elise Stefanik

New York (District 23): Tom Reed

New York (District 24): John Katko

New York (District 27): Chris Jacobs

North Carolina (District 3): Greg Murphy

North Carolina (District 5): Virginia Foxx

North Carolina (District 7): David Rouzer

North Carolina (District 8): Richard Hudson

North Carolina (District 9): Dan Bishop

North Carolina (District 10): Patrick McHenry

North Carolina (District 11): Madison Cawthorn

North Carolina (District 13): Ted Budd

North Dakota (At Large): Kelly Armstrong

Ohio (District 1): Steve Chabot

Ohio (District 2): Brad Wenstrup

Ohio (District 4): Jim Jordan

Ohio (District 5): Bob Latta

Ohio (District 6): Bill Johnson

Ohio (District 7): Bob Gibbs

Ohio (District 8): Warren Davidson

Ohio (District 10): Mike Turner

Ohio (District 12): Troy Balderson

Ohio (District 14): David Joyce

Ohio (District 15): Steve Stivers

Ohio (District 16): Anthony Gonzalez

Oklahoma (District 1): Kevin Hern

Oklahoma (District 2): Markwayne Mullin

Oklahoma (District 3): Frank Lucas

Oklahoma (District 4): Tom Cole

Oklahoma (District 5): Stephanie Bice

Oregon (District 2): Cliff Bentz

Pennsylvania (District 1): Brian Fitzpatrick

Pennsylvania (District 9): Dan Meuser

Pennsylvania (District 10): Scott Perry

Pennsylvania (District 11): Lloyd Smucker

Pennsylvania (District 12): Fred Keller

Pennsylvania (District 13): John Joyce

Pennsylvania (District 14): Guy Reschenthaler

Pennsylvania (District 15): Glenn Thompson

Pennsylvania (District 16): Mike Kelly

South Carolina (District 1): Nancy Mace

South Carolina (District 2): Joe Wilson

South Carolina (District 3): Jeff Duncan

South Carolina (District 4): William Timmons

South Carolina (District 5): Ralph Norman

South Carolina (District 7): Tom Rice

South Dakota (At Large): Dusty Johnson

Tennessee (District 1): Diana Harshbarger

Tennessee (District 2): Tim Burchett

Tennessee (District 3): Chuck Fleischmann

Tennessee (District 4): Scott DesJarlais

Tennessee (District 6): John Rose

Tennessee (District 7): Mark E. Green

Tennessee (District 8): David Kustoff

Texas (District 1): Louie Gohmert

Texas (District 2): Dan Crenshaw

Texas (District 3): Van Taylor

Texas (District 4): Pat Fallon

Texas (District 5): Lance Gooden

Texas (District 6): Ron Wright

Texas (District 8): Kevin Brady

Texas (District 10): Michael McCaul

Texas (District 11): August Pfluger

Texas (District 12): Kay Granger

Texas (District 13): Ronny Jackson

Texas (District 14): Randy Weber

Texas (District 17): Pete Sessions

Texas (District 19): Jodey Arrington

Texas (District 21): Chip Roy

Texas (District 22): Troy Nehls

Texas (District 23): Tony Gonzales

Texas (District 24): Beth Van Duyne

Texas (District 25): Roger Williams

Texas (District 26): Michael Burgess

Texas (District 27): Michael Cloud

Texas (District 31): John Carter

Texas (District 36): Brian Babin

Utah (District 1): Blake Moore

Utah (District 2): Chris Stewart

Utah (District 3): John Curtis

Utah (District 4): Burgess Owens

Virginia (District 1): Rob Wittman

Virginia (District 5): Bob Good

Virginia (District 6): Ben Cline

Virginia (District 9): Morgan Griffith

Washington (District 3): Jaime Herrera Beutler

Washington (District 4): Dan Newhouse

Washington (District 5): Cathy McMorris Rodgers

West Virginia (District 1): David McKinley

West Virginia (District 2): Alex Mooney

West Virginia (District 3): Carol Miller

Wisconsin (District 1): Bryan Steil

Wisconsin (District 5): Scott Fitzgerald

Wisconsin (District 6): Glenn Grothman

Wisconsin (District 7): Tom Tiffany

Wisconsin (District 8): Mike Gallagher

Wyoming (At Large): Liz Cheney

DELEGATES (They have a voice on the floor, but no voting power.)

American Samoa: (Republican) Aumua Amata Radewagen

District of Columbia: (Democrat) Eleanor Holmes Norton

Guam: (Democrat) Michael San Nicolas

Northern Mariana Islands: (Independent) Gregorio Sablan

Puerto Rico: (Republican) Jenniffer Gonzalez

U.S. Virgin Islands: (Democrat) Stacey Plaskett

The Teri Tome–My 2020 Hits and Misses

I can’t believe my blog, The Teri Tome, is five years old already. Wow, those years flew by way too fast.

Sitting here writing this blog post, I’m trying to remember back to 2015, and sadly, nothing earth-shattering is coming to mind.

Maybe it’s because my memory is shot, or maybe it’s because, in 2020, life interrupted my recollection of anything pre-covid.

And okay, maybe I sound like Trump when I say:

Corona, corona, corona. Corona, corona, corona. I’m so sick of corona.

Stick me in the arm with the vaccine already!

I’m sure you would all agree that 2020 was a lot to deal with. Okay, it was a dystopic sh**storm. And I’m happy to say buh-bye to all 366 days of it. (2020 was a leap year, remember?)

But, to be fair, it hasn’t been all bad. Forty-three long weeks in quarantine has taught me a lot about myself and my definition of essential.

In the early months of 2020, I considered it my lost year.

Until I realized that 2020 was the year I found myself. I’m a changed and hopefully better person than when I naively rang in 2020.

I’ve questioned the fundamentals of “normal,” and going back to my pre-covid life as my pre-covid self isn’t an option.

Just to be clear, I haven’t locked myself down for the past ten months because I’m afraid corona’s gonna get me.

My reason for living like a hermit all these months is simple. Without my family and close friends, I have no reason to venture out.

Let me break down my pre-Covid routine for you:

My standing nail salon appointment: I’ve perfected my mani-pedi skills, and my nails have never been healthier.

My monthly haircut and color: I’ve become adept at trimming my hair, and I’m okay with going grey.

Grocery shopping: I always despised shopping for groceries, so having them delivered works for me.

Clothes and shoe shopping: 2020 was the year I wore schlumpf clothes 24/7. Schlumpf is a thing. Look it up in the Urban Dictionary.

Going out to restaurants: Sitting outside in the brutal heat or the freezing cold is not my idea of fine dining. If I can’t go to Peter Lugar’s in style, I’ll wait until I can.

The last time I filled my car with gas was early February 2020, and March 7 was the last time I left my house. (Except for my flu shot and three doctor visits.)

March quickly morphed into July, then September, followed by non-Thanksgiving, non-Chanukah, non-Christmas, and non-New Year’s Eve.

And please don’t judge me, but during my endless months in quarantine, I found solace in all things 1:12 scale. Okay, I’m more like obsessed.

There were too many 2020 days when I wanted to miniature myself small enough to move into my newly renovated dollhouse.

When my head wasn’t stuck in a dollhouse, I baked some killer bread, grew potted veggies and herbs on my patio, spic-and-spanned my house, socially distanced in my frosty garage, and created some awesomely impressive meals.

And my fingers to elbows have never been cleaner! I’ve been singing the ABCs and Happy Birthday in my inside voice at least fifty times per day.

In 2020 I binged on mindless reality shows I would never have otherwise wasted my time on. Awful shows like 90-Day Fiancé (so creepy) and Married at First Sight (so desperate).

2020 was also the year I could barely string together a sentence because I developed a severe case of writer’s block!

And whenever I wrote, it was forced and mostly dark, which is why I’m only going to bore you with my Top Five blog posts instead of my Top Ten.

And okay, I’ll throw in the worst blog post of 2020 as well as the best of all time (2015-2020).

I do owe you full disclosure: Of my 32 total posts in 2020, I wrote seven of them eons ago—pulled from a novel titled My Stolen Diaries that I’ve been writing since 1992.

And weirdly enough, when I calculated the traffic numbers for my Top Five blog posts, four of them were from that ancient rough draft novel.

It turns out my Top Five posts are less of a post-mortem on what Teri was writing in 2020 and more about what Teri was writing in the 90s.

The Teri Tome generated over 300,000 page views in 2020, a whopping 47% increase from 2019, so I’m pleased.

I’ll start with the worst blog post of 2020:

#1 WORST IN 2020 

I Tried to Save a Cat’s Life Yesterday: I was sorry to see that this blog post was a loser. I still haven’t gotten over that poor pregnant cat. And I’m not sure that anything can be done about it, but we have way too many feral cats in my North Woodmere, New York neighborhood.      

And now for my Top Five 2020 posts:

#1 HIT IN 2020

My Stolen Diaries – Chapter Two: To Know Yourself Is to Know Your Family : I was dumbfounded to see that a chapter from my rough draft novel was numero uno. It took me a while to figure out a format for excerpting from my decades-old unfinished book. When I finally settled on calling it a Novelog (novel-in-a-blog), I put up a Disclaimer and six chapters. I was reasonably sure they would all bomb. The thousands of hits that this 28-year-old Chapter Two garnered made my heart happy.

#2 HIT IN 2020

My Stolen Diaries – Chapter Four: The Yellow Kitchen Table: Wow, so this was also a thrill for me! Another chapter of my dusty old novel? To be honest,  I almost didn’t post this chapter for reasons I won’t disclose. But I have no regrets.

#3 HIT IN 2020

2020 Cedarhurst Sidewalk Sale: I Was Fired for Seeking the Truth: Getting fired from my job as Executive Director of the Cedarhurst Business Improvement District for refusing to put people’s lives at risk during a pandemic was devastating. But I’m glad my post reached thousands of visitors, and I hope it continues to attract tons of traffic. I miss my job, but I don’t miss the Village of Cedarhurst’s political posturing, the lies, the misinformation, or the bullying. And I’m still weighing whether or not to sue the Deputy Mayor of Cedarhurst for defamation.

#4 HIT IN 2020

My Stolen Diaries – Chapter Five: My First Diary: The first thing I thought when I added up the numbers and saw that the #4 spot was yet another chapter of my book—was that maybe, just maybe, my languishing novel has legs!

#5 HIT IN 2020

My Stolen Diaries – Chapter Six: Tit: Another chapter of my book! And BTW, Tit is the nickname for a bully character in my novel. And the thousands of people this chapter reached gave me new resolve to pull out that book and take a fresh look at it.

#1 HIT OF ALL TERI TOME TIME (2015-2020)

Bullies Are Cowards and Why I Refuse To Turn the Other Cheek: I have a lot to say about this one. Year after year, this post, written in 2015, continues to outperform all the others, and to date, has garnered almost 550,000 page views. And year after year, I’m thankful for the blog traffic, but the fact that “bullies” is my number one keyword says volumes about our world’s character. And as history has shown us, there are way too many psychopathic bullies out there. And from my personal experience, someone with a psychopathic personality disorder will almost always display some sort of mental illness and or narcissistic derangement. As far as I’m concerned, all three conditions are little more than a convenient label for crackpots and social deviants who over-estimate and exaggerate their abilities, status, intelligence, and looks.

In reviewing my 2020 hits and misses, as well as my top post of all Teri Tome time, I’m excited about highlighting more chapters of my novel on my blog.

And 2021 might even be the year I finish it!

I want to wish my loyal readers a Happy New Year. I hope that 2021 brings you wellness and equality, plus all the hopes and dreams you thought would happen in 2020.

And I can’t wait to see what 2021 holds for the new and improved Teri.

Stay tuned!

Hands


I could listen to Christmas music all year long. Listening to the music of the Christmas season takes me back to so many wonderful holiday memories.

Today I heard Jewel’s Christmas version of her song, Hands, and thought back to December 1998, when my ten-year-old daughter was going through some crazy stressful stuff.

Looking back on it, she was wise beyond her years and incredibly courageous.

That night she pulled me into her room to watch an MTV video, which she said reminded her of us.

I was assuming the video would be something light and cute, but so not so.

The video was of the Jewel song Hands. The words and images chillingly resonated for so many reasons: Darkness indeed fears the light, poverty stole any golden shoes I might have wanted to wear, and I may be damaged, but never broken.

But what did the song mean to her?

My daughter said that Hands reminded her of the no-win situation that she was smack in the middle of, with no easy way out. And that although she was young, she could still stand up for what was right and speak the truth, no matter what the consequences. She was adamant about the fact that she had a voice—her voice, and her hands were hers alone. As she spoke, her hands flailed about animatedly.

Her words were powerful, and I felt a profound sadness and overwhelming guilt.

I know she felt my pain because she immediately took those tiny hands and oh so gently embraced me.

My precious youngest child was way too young to be experiencing the disunity that engulfed her.

And every time I hear the song, or watch the video it reminds me of her moral strength and steadfast resilience.

Hands

If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be that we’re all ok
And not to worry because worry is wasteful
And useless in times like these
I will not be made useless
I won’t be idled with despair
I will gather myself around my faith
For light does the darkness most fear

My hands are small, I know,
But they’re not yours they are my own
But they’re not yours they are my own
And I am never broken

Poverty stole your golden shoes
But it didn’t steal your laughter
And heartache came to visit me
But I knew it wasn’t ever after

We will fight, not out of spite
For someone must stand up for what’s right
Cause where there’s a man who has no voice
There ours shall go singing

My hands are small, I know,
But they’re not yours they are my own
But they’re not yours they are my own
And I am never broken

In the end only kindness matters
In the end only kindness matters

I will get down on my knees and I will pray
I will get down on my knees and I will pray
I will get down on my knees and I will pray

My hands are small, I know,
But they’re not yours they are my own
But they’re not yours they are my own
And I am never broken

My hands are small, I know,
But they’re not yours they are my own
But they’re not yours they are my own
And I am never broken
We are never broken

We are God’s eyes God’s hands God’s mind
We are God’s eyes God’s hands God’s heart
We are God’s eyes God’s hands God’s eyes God’s hands
We are God’s hands God’s hands We are God’s hands

Four Minutes, 154 Bullets

This past Sunday, the subject line of one particular email in my inbox jumped out at me:

4 minutes, 154 bullets

The email was from Nicole Hockley, the mother of Dylan, one of the Sandy Hook elementary school victims on that horrific December 14, 2012.  In Nicole’s email, she lovingly refers to Dylan as her beautiful butterfly.

The deranged shooter took ten 30-round gun magazines into Sandy Hook Elementary that day. It took him four minutes to shoot 154 bullets, killing 20 students and six educators.

In the email, Nicole says that more than a year ago, a bill was introduced in Congress to limit the size of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds—but lawmakers have refused to vote on it.

And then she heartbreakingly asks, what if?

What if those 30-round gun magazines had been limited to a fraction of the rounds? Would her beloved Dylan be alive today?

It was a painful email to read, and it reminded me of yet another example of the deep divisions separating our country. Every day I see more and more examples of how our nation is being torn apart.

And our differences are way more than gun control vs. gun rights.

President-elect Joe Biden has repeatedly stated: “I believe that Americans have more in common than what divides us.”

But I’m not sure I believe that.

Every single day, it seems there’s yet another something that divides us.

Left vs. right, mask vs. maskless, Democrats vs. Republicans, Trump vs. Biden, red vs. blue, white vs. black, college-educated vs. blue-collar, climate change activists vs. deniers, black lives matter vs. law and order, north vs. south, male vs. female, old vs. young, conservative vs. liberal, rich vs. poor, urban vs. rural, fake news vs. facts, heartland vs. Hollywood, pro-choice vs. anti-abortion, elite vs. deplorable, science vs. conspiracy theories, rigged vs. secure elections.

Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays.

Our differences are exhausting.

We are more than a divided America. We are fast becoming two Americas speeding toward a head-on collision.

The clash and crash of two very different Americas are devastating.

But nothing compared to facing 154 bullets in four minutes.
donate@sandyhookpromise.org

I Tried to Save a Cat’s Life Yesterday

This whole Covid thing has been getting to me.

My husband keeps reminding me that people go through way worse things, and I get what he’s saying.

But I’ve been held up in my house for 38 weeks and counting, and I’ve only been to four places during my eight-month odyssey:

CVS for a flu shot, and three medical offices.

The last time I put gas in my car was in late February.

The weather channel predicted an unseasonably warm November 28, so we took advantage of what would probably be the last time we could enjoy our family outdoors and invited them over.

It had been a lovely day, but as we walked back from the park, there was a crowd of kids and one woman stooping over something in the middle of a fairly busy street.

The “something” was a black and white tuxedo cat.

Just so you know, I’m not an animal person and haven’t been a pet owner for close to fifty years.

But just because I don’t have animals doesn’t mean I don’t care about them.

Anyway, the woman at the scene said that the cat was pregnant. The poor cat seemed to have been hit by a car and was seriously injured. The woman took a box out of her car, placed the cat in it, sat the box on the sidewalk by the curb, and drove away.

What? Did she leave the cat on the side of the road to die? Pregnant and all?

Some of my family walked back to the house and suggested that I do the same. But three of us stayed with the cat, furiously making calls to 911, animal shelters, animal control, Nassau County, and the auxiliary police.

Every call we made resulted in the same response: There was nothing they could do.

I asked the crowd of kids to keep an eye on the cat while I went home to come up with a plan. I made some more calls, sent out an email to a rescue center, grabbed a heavy towel, and ran the six blocks back to the cat.

The kids cheered when they saw me—what a sweet bunch of kids they were. The cat was trying to climb out of the box. But then I covered her with the heavy towel, and she relented and put her weary head down to rest.

By now, it was past 4 pm, and it was getting damp and cold. But I couldn’t leave that damn cat.

I called animal control three more times and then called the Fourth Precinct a second time. The officer on duty again reiterated that there was nothing they could do. In tears, I explained to the officer that my heart was breaking for the cat.  I know the officer felt terrible because I could hear it in his voice, so I pleaded with him: “Please, officer, can’t you help me? The cat’s pregnant.”

He paused for a second and then said, “Don’t be upset miss, I’ll get someone over there.”

When the thirty-something police officer arrived, he brought tears to my eyes because he reminded me of my son. I can’t explain why.

He took a look in the box, made some calls from his car, and then said he couldn’t get permission from his superiors to take the cat to a shelter. But at least he tried.

I called animal control for the fourth time and tearfully said that the cat had to be freezing if I was cold. I asked the woman what kind of animal shelter would allow an injured and pregnant cat to freeze to death? I finally convinced her to send someone to pick up the cat, although she warned me that it could take an hour or so.

Those kids stayed with me until close to 6 pm. They would have stayed longer, but their parents called them all in.

I stood there in the cold, baby talking to the soon-to-be mommy cat, who was probably already dead.

At 6:30 pm, a van pulled up, and a young woman took the cat away. She gave me her card and told me to call in the morning for an update.

I had a sleepless night. My worries about the pregnant cat turned into concerns about Covid, school closings, my mom, vaccines, elections, my son, the countless animals out there in the frigid cold, and the fact that I had surrounded myself with all those kids who weren’t wearing masks.

Just my luck that after eight long months of quarantine, I could get coronavirus by trying to save a stray cat.

I called the Town of Hempstead this morning and received the sad news that the cat was deceased by the time it arrived at the animal shelter the night before.

I thanked the woman, who in turn thanked me and said, “You know in these trying times, there are a lot of really kind people among us. I like to call them angels on earth. Never forget that there are countless people out there who truly care. Too many to count. That’s a beautiful thing, right?”

I had been so busy feeling Covid sorry for myself, so obsessed with counting this vote or counting that ballot, that I forgot about the countless people out there who genuinely care.

Too many to count.

I said goodbye to the animal shelter lady, who in turn said:

“Never forget that there are angels among us and never stop caring about all of God’s children.”

RIP my almost mommy cat.

Happy Birthday Nancy

Nancy is my beloved mother’s name. And for my first fifteen years, she was my only Nancy.

Until, in 1968, I met my second Nancy, at Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut.

She was a vision of beauty. Tall, blonde, face like an angel.

I don’t recall the exact circumstances of how we met. All I remember is Nancy’s kindness, naivete, inclusiveness. She was shockingly unaware of her star quality or the enormity of her heart.

She was a breath of fresh air in a town full of snobs.

And she chose me to be her friend at a heartbreaking time in my life when nobody seemed to want to give me a chance.

My second most favorite Nancy.

A year ago today, we celebrated her 66th birthday together. I hadn’t seen her in way too many years, but it didn’t matter. We picked up right where we left off.

We pigged-out on the best ever lobster rolls at P.J. Clarke’s in NYC.

And then topped it off with a breathtaking rooftop view at the Peninsula Hotel.

We hung out at my house until all hours of the night, like we were fifteen again, and played Twister at the TWA Hotel.

As the pandemic rages on, the photos from Nancy’s birthday have been comforting and a reminder to make every moment count.

Happy birthday, my dear friend. I love and miss you.

Xo Teri

My Commonplace Life

“A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at them.” ~ David Brinkley

The quote above, discovered over thirty years ago, struck me as so profound that I immediately wrote it down and referred to it in all my times of trouble. It also resulted in the birth of commonplacing my life.

I cataloged my commonplace life in files marked “Mortar” and “Bricks.” The file folders aren’t organized in any particular order, but to read through them is to know all of me. Some of my commonplace collection is so searingly revealing that I hope they’re discovered and dissected long after I’m gone.

Call them the ghost of me.

I use the “Mortar” as my commonplace life cement, in the hopes that it hardens enough to bind and secure the “Bricks” that others throw at me.

In so doing, I am masterfully adept at sealing and securing the irregular and uneven gaps—brick by brick—to recalibrate the enormous weight of them in the hopes of creating a safe and stable fortress.

I regularly use the “Mortar” files to soften and equally distribute the crushing pressure from the vile files of “Bricks.”

Commonplace books were popular as early as the Middle Ages and used by writers and scholars as a way of cataloging and memorializing the knowledge they amassed from their life experiences— their loves, their peers, their mentors, their books, and their loss.

Commonplace books, also referred to as commonplacing, are similar to scrapbooks, but they aren’t journals and have no chronological patterns.

Every commonplace system is unique to its creator and serves as a window into who they are, their beliefs, their fears, and their passions. Commonplacing is, more often than not, a lifelong collection of revealing inspirations—the deep caverns of a mind laid bare.

Like so many others who have commonplaced for centuries before me, I have collected thousands of compiled gems.

And I often peruse them when I am questioning life, love, and loss. It is during my darkest hours that I comb through my treasured collection of musings.

My files of “Mortar” and “Bricks” have expanded over the years to include hundreds of Word docs, my blog The Teri Tome, my author website TeriSchure.com, my Instagram account AllDollhousedUp, and reams of hanging Pendaflex folders.

I would love to see my commonplacing passed down to later generations, to memorialize forever the breadth and depth of who I was.

“To all the bullies, abusers,
and brick throwers I have known:
It took a lifetime to realize
that I am a giant when compared
to your tiny ruthless selves.
People like you hide their insecurities
by bullying and abusing people like me.
You’re not powerful enough to
extinguish my light.
You don’t even know it,
but the evil you have sown is your curse.
Your sickness will undo you.
No one heals themselves
by wounding another.
You have no power over me.
The power is mine, all mine.”
~ Teri Schure

Miniature Sukkah

As a result of the coronavirus, the family dollhouse has become my most treasured possession.

I’ve spent the past six months quarantined with my husband. And were it not for the dollhouse, I’m not sure I would have kept my sanity.

It’s not the dollhouse itself that gives me comfort and stability; it’s the family and friends I’ve created within it.

Over the past 30 weeks, I’ve significantly upgraded their digs by removing a staircase, two walls, and some old flooring. I’ve installed carpeting and wallpaper, and I went a little crazy with lighting. Cha-ching.

My make-believe family and friends don’t have any last names, but they all have first names. And there is no fighting allowed. Everyone gets along, and I insisted that they have no political stance. However, I did insist that they had access to masks.

I needed my dollhouse people to be free of drama and conflict. I couldn’t bear for them to be disagreeable. I needed plain old stable, kind, and caring folks who look after each other.

I didn’t focus on their religion at all. I was born Greek Orthodox, baptized Catholic at five, and converted to Judaism at 30, so I don’t care what my dollhouse peeps believe in as long as they keep the peace.

Every year, coinciding with the first full moon of the fall season, I build a sukkah for the Jewish festival of Sukkot—a homage to the 40 years of wandering in the desert.

The sukkah, a house that is open to the world, is a temporary hut constructed for use during the week-long holiday. As is the fragility of our lives, the sukkah walls are flimsy, and there’s no roof.

Eating, congregating, and even sleeping under the stars in a sukkah is meant to remind Jews of the vulnerability of life and the fleeting nature of their existence.

Fragile, fleeting, and vulnerable. That’s how I’ve been feeling lately.

During Sukkot, I invite friends and family over for sukkah parties where we schmooze and recall the precarious existence of the Israelites as they wandered on their desert journey, full of danger, disease, and uncertainty.

The biblical book read in honor of Sukkot is the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes.

The sentiments expressed in Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 were used in the well-known Byrd’s song from the 1960s: “To everything, turn, turn, turn, there is a season, turn, turn, turn – and a time to every purpose under heaven.”

Every year, the sukkah helps me to not only get in touch with the outdoors but to let go of the meaningless and to focus on the beauty and purpose of my life—even if it’s only for one cold, crisp week.

But this year, I knew I couldn’t build my sukkah. And it depressed me terribly to acknowledge that I would have to forgo constructing the safe and mellow space that always brought me such peace, quiet, and tranquility.

And even though it was a huge undertaking to build and decorate the sukkah for just one week of use, I always found such happiness and pleasure in the social aspect.

The hardest thing to accept about Covid-19 is that it denies me access to my most treasured resource and comfort; my beloved family and friends.

So, I thought, why not build a dollhouse sukkah so that my make-believe friends and family can shelter in place?

And build it, I did—a sacred, welcoming space, and a place full of warmth, companionship, strength, courage, and healing.

“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

As I built my dollhouse sukkah, I tried to recreate my actual sukkah. And as I cut and glued and stapled, I thought nonstop about the vulnerabilities of life, the importance of family and friends, and the resilience of the human spirit.

 

And I have to say; it was restorative, uplifting, and valuably therapeutic.

And the most perfect replica of my wished reality.

This blog post is dedicated to my beautiful friend Ann who died 3/28/20 at 65 years young. RIP my dear Annie Pannie.

What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?

I recently had a weird dream that was all jumbled up, but I recall that the question shrouded me in regret and remorse:

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

I jumped out of bed, grabbed my journal, and wrote it down.

Then I tossed and turned, asking myself the question over and over again.

It was a fitful night, and I finally gave up trying to sleep and began writing this blog post.

What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?

What would you do?

Rosh Hashanah, a time of repenting and forgiveness, begins at sundown tonight—Friday, September 18.

There it is—that number 18. It always manages to creep up and in, whenever I’m soul searching.

“The days of awe,” also known as the “ten days of repentance,” include Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the days in between, during which time Jews reflect on how we cycle through the year, bring it to a close, and begin again.

I don’t know about you, but I could really use a new beginning.

In the old days, when I would attend Temple during the High Holy Days, I would recite the same prayers every year. Year after year, the same tedious prayers. But this year is like no other year.

In thinking about what has happened over the past twelve months, I am regretful that I ever thought the prayers were routine—or worse, boring.

So, I pulled out the prayers today. And yes, they’re the same old familiar prayers, but in a calming, rejuvenating way.

Like all of you, my circumstances have forever changed.

The past twelve months have brought and wrought a harrowing narrative coupled with a Groundhog Day corona-routine that has rocked my world.

I looked back in my journal to remind me of all the things that happened over my past twelve-month life. If only I could go back to a simpler, safer time. If only I could go back to twelve months ago.

Last September 18, I had a Me Too awakening that left me with a glorious sense of acceptance. Finally. And of course, it happened on the 18th.

In October, I drove with my husband to Manchester, Vermont, for a wedding. The wedding was terrific, but it was the hours of driving, exploring, and conversating that reminded me of why I love spending time with my guy.

In November, I flew to London with my daughter, and we had an unforgettable ten days. I had never been to the UK, and will probably never get there again. I wish I would have known that back then.

On December 31, I threw a New Year’s Eve party, and we all cheered and celebrated the coming of 2020 with steak, lobster, and champagne. Happy 2020! Happy New Year!

In January, my grandson turned ten years old! And I recall thinking that it seemed like yesterday that I gently held his tiny swaddled body at the hospital. Back in the day when I assumed that I had all the time in the world to spend with him.

In February, I celebrated my daughter’s birthday in Brooklyn, New York, at an annual Peter Luger’s extravaganza with her two best friends. Porterhouse, thick-cut bacon, and an ice-cold martini, oh my!

And then, well, everything changed.

On March 7, I went into quarantine. I haven’t left my house since.

I remember the date, not because Coronavirus happened, but because it was the birthday of a special someone. A someone I’ve never met and who is a beloved and integral part of what I would do if I weren’t afraid.

On April 3, I corona-celebrated my 67th birthday. How the hell did 67 happen? But the day is seared in my memory forever, not because I turned 67, but because my Aunt Mary and one of my best friends I affectionately called Annie Pannie, were both buried that day.

On May 10, I got to see my daughter for the first time since we celebrated her birthday in February. The best Mother’s Day ever.

On June 21, we spent Father’s Day with two of our grandchildren, albeit socially distant. We hadn’t seen them since the prior November. And wow, how they had grown.

On July 21, I was fired from my executive director job by the deputy mayor of Cedarhurst, New York, because I asked to sit out the promoting and organizing of the annual summer Sidewalk Sale, which in the past years brought thousands of people to the shopping village. Sorry, not sorry, but I didn’t see anywhere in my job description that it was okay to kill people.

In August, I celebrated my 21st wedding anniversary with my husband corona-style, i.e., I warmed up whatever leftovers I had in my fridge, followed by a two-hour television binge of Married at First Sight.

And now, here we are on September 18, 2020.

I’m contemplating what I would do if I weren’t afraid—to reach out, and ask a most treasured person for their forgiveness.

I recently read that in asking for forgiveness, we often overlook the balance between the one who asks for forgiveness and the one who forgives.

I find it difficult to forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made. And even though I recognize that I’m a work in progress, I continually beat myself up over events I wish I could go back and change.

I desperately want a do-over. A chance to make things right and put the mistakes and regrets behind me and out of my life forever.

I would ask for a second chance—that’s what I would do if I weren’t afraid.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve asked this person for forgiveness many times.

So many times that I’ve all but given up.

I said, “all but.”

Before I was Jewish, I was Catholic and taught that I was born with original sin. I always took that to mean that I was predisposed to making mistakes—a lot of them.

And I learned over the years that sh** happens. But it’s never too late to make amends.

I’ve personally given plenty of loved one’s numerous chances. Some took full and loving advantage, and others did not. But I don’t regret forgiving.

So, I’m going to ask for forgiveness, even though I’m afraid.

And I know that if I’m forgiven—which I probably won’t be—we will never be able to get back to the way we were. Asking and receiving forgiveness doesn’t mean all is erased.

I’m not naïve.

I know that if I’m forgiven, it will never eliminate the anguish of the injury or the memory of the pain I caused. I’m just hoping to break the impasse—to unbreak two hearts.

And tonight, when I light the Sabbath candles, I’ll pray for a new beginning. Not just for me, but for all of us.

Because we are in a very dark time, and there is way too much suffering and human wounds out there.

And even though I’m afraid, I will send that email. I won’t call because I know I’ll never get a callback.

I’m hoping, but not expecting a response to my apology.

And until I draw my last breath, I will pray for the courage to keep trying and to never lose hope.

Even though I’m afraid.