And so I continue…

No doubt all history in the last resort must be held by Christians to be a story with a divine plot. ~ C.S. Lewis

Before I knew she was awake, Emily had read an overnight email from Jeff Ostermeyer, Rooney’s communications director, learning from him that President Bush had cancelled and Vice-President Cheney would be attending in his place.

Emily later described the morning this way…

So Thursday went differently than I had planned…well, what everyone had planned. Because of the “economic crisis” President Bush stayed in D.C. and sent Cheney in his place.

After being just short of depressed all morning, mom gave me a pep talk and put me back in my place. For me to be complaining about greeting the vice president because I was expecting the president was pretty bratty of me.

Rather mature of her, don’t you think? Emily thinks our conversation was a “pep talk” for her, but in reality I was desperate for wisdom – complaining to God and repeating His responses aloud for both of us…

“It’s not fair, God!” I cried – trying to make sense of what was happening and how I could make it right for Emily.

“You’re right – life’s not fair – but I am, and it isn’t up to you to ‘make it right for Emily.’ “ He promptly corrected me.

“She’ll be devastated, you know.” I lamented. “She’s passionate in her defense of President Bush. I don’t know anyone who deserves to meet him more.”

“The men and women in uniform and their families? Are they not the most deserving of all?”

Emily and I covered a multitude of topics on our two-and-a-half hour drive from home to the airport – from trust in God’s sovereignty in all our affairs to remembering with gratitude and awe the opportunities to meet elected officials and attend political functions God had already provided…

President and Laura Bush and Emily at a SW Florida rally – October 2004
We had been given VVIP tickets to either sit in the stands behind the stage or stand in the front to shake their hands. Such a fast-paced and loud event is difficult to photograph for an amateur like me. As you can see, President Bush is unintentionally about to hit the camera out of my hand.

Presidential Inauguration and Parade – January 2005
As a gift from generous friends, we spent 3 days in D.C. attending various events, including the parade where we sat in the military bleachers and Nick marched with the regiment from Kings Point as Regimental Commander.

Fl Attorney General Charlie Crist and Governor Jeb Bush – Fall 2006

Florida Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp – April 2007 and Governor Charlie Crist (Attorney General at the time this photo was taken.) – September 2006
…and, of course, the Fox News Presidential Debate and a serendipitous encounter with Senator John McCain and NY Governor Pataki while visiting Sagamore Hill in September 2002 (I’m not sure where those photos are stored), as well as U.S. Representative Katherine Harris (FL), Fl Representative Denise Grimsley, Speaker of the House Marco Rubio, and various local elected officials.

Adds a little perspective, doesn’t it? It’s amazing how quickly we can become “bratty” – as Emily put it – and whine when our plans don’t unfold the way we ordained them.

Emily concluded…

The whole experience was amazing! Everyone with the White House was super nice and it was fun to get a glimpse into what their life is like. The Secret Service was great too…and one day I’ll be out there with them!

The conversation with Cheney was short, but the overall experience is something I’ll always remember.”

Emily’s loyalty to President Bush pales in comparison to her respect and admiration for those who serve our country in the military, and on our drive to the airport to meet Vice President Cheney, she enthusiastically agreed that those are the men and women who truly deserve a meeting with President Bush. God could not have shown us more clearly a glimpse of His “divine plot” or brought us more delight in disappointment than when the following day we read…

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney pulled a switch on Thursday as economic problems caused ups and downs in the financial markets and flipped the White House schedule upside down.

After an afternoon economic meeting, though, Bush left the White House and headed to the vice president’s residence for burgers and hot dogs with wounded U.S. troops and their families.

Cheney and his wife, Lynne, regularly host groups of injured troops at their home at the U.S. Naval Observatory. Instead of canceling the event, Bush stood in for Cheney. Bush, Cheney swap events (AP)


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