Senator Morris Hood during the Michigan Senate's annual Memorial Day service.
Senator Morris Hood during the Michigan Senate’s annual Memorial Day service.

Yesterday was the final “session day” for the year in the 97th Michigan Legislature.  On the last day, towards the end of the day’s debates, members of the Senate typically wish each other a Merry Christmas during their time for Statements.  Sometimes it’s friendly and full of jokes.  Other times it’s tense because of the way that politics cause hurt feelings.  Yesterday was a bit of the later until it became very poignant.

Senator Morris Hood (D – Detroit) gave his statement and focused on his thoughts of experience the first Christmas since his wife passed away.

Hood and I are on opposite ends of the political spectrum.  He and I are on opposites ends of the state.  Nevertheless, I hold him up in my heart and prayers and I am proud to say that he serves in the Senate and that I’ve worked with him in the past when I was on staff.

I share his statement from yesterday and I wish him (and all of you) a very Blessed Christmas and a very Merry and Happy New Year, one where we hold each other up with all the love and support that we can give.  Because we will never know if this is the last time we have a chance to do so.

“Senator Hood was granted unanimous consent to make a state and moved that it be printed in the journal. Senator Hood’s statement is as follows:

I was going to stand here and address some of the comments that were made here earlier by the Senator from the 24th District, but I think that his comments have shown us where his intellect level is. But what I really want to say and what I wanted to stand up here and talk about is us leaving here and going to our Christmas holiday and enjoying the Christmas holiday; the things that we do here and what life is really all about. Last year, I did not know that it was going to be my wife’s last Christmas, and this year I struggle with it. I say to all of you, look deep within your hearts, look deeper than your lives, and look deep within your souls to understand what life is really all about. We can pass laws, we can make laws, and we change lives here every day, but the precious life that we have is not always going be here.

So as we leave here and doing the things that we do here, just look at your fellow man and fellow woman and take a piece of that and try to understand their life. Not just from your point of view, but from their point of view. Everybody’s life is not the same. You can’t judge everyone by what your live is all about and what you believe in and what you grew up with or how you grew up, or the geographic area that you grew up in—everything is different. Open up your eyes, open up your mind, and open up your heart to understand. You don’t have to believe in it, but just try to understand what someone else is going through, be it if they are on drugs or whatever. People don’t wake up and say, “Hey, today I am going to get addicted to drugs, or alcohol.” It happens. It’s life. I know that we look for things to try to stop that and not encourage that, but there are other ways to do it. Let’s get them help. Some of them don’t want to take the help, because of the addiction that they have, but we have to have the help there for them. 

Enjoy this. Enjoy your family. Enjoy your spouses. Tell them that you love them every day, because tomorrow may not be here—it may not. If I could go back and go to last Christmas, I would do it differently. I’d spend more time at home. I’d love a little bit more. I’d kiss a little bit more. I’d touch a little bit more. When I go home tonight, I can’t do it. If I was the most powerful man in the world, if I had all of the money in the world, I can’t do it. You can. Take advantage of that. Take advantage of every day that you have. Help someone else out. Love someone else. Love someone else you don’t even know. We are all running in a dark room, full speed at a brick wall, and you don’t know when you are going to hit it. You know, at night time when you get up and it’s dark in the house, you kind of feel your way through the house, and you don’t want to run into anything, but think about running at it full speed and you don’t know when you are going to hit it. You’re running at it; everybody in here is running at that brick wall. Be prepared for it.

Don’t have the regrets that I had from the last Christmas, saying I should have, I could have, I would have. Do it now. Take the time to love everyone, because that’s the way God wants it to be. Shake a hand; give a hug. Take this Christmas, take this time to do that, because you don’t know what it’s going to be looking like for the next Christmas. Merry Christmas to all of you.”