Voting and Option C

It’s Election Day! Ya-hoo! The day that sets our country in the admirable place of demonstrating that our leaders are CHOSEN- BY THE PEOPLE! The citizens of our country hold the power and we are so excited to use it.

The privilege to vote is precious and sacred. History shows us the ways in which our ancestors battled for this incredible right. To not vote is perceived as a slap in the face to those who died for this right.

And yet, we still need to work tirelessly to encourage people to vote.

Today, around Georgia, everywhere I turned I saw people wearing the “I voted” Georgia Peach sticker. Turn out didn’t seem to be an issue. Add to the throes of early voters, I am thrilled by the number of people executing their right to vote.


And yet, after months of political ads, robo calls, and social media posts, I found myself in an unlikeable place.

I.Don’t. Like. The. Choices.

I am going to say right here if you think this post is political, you are incorrect, and if you want to sway me, please don’t. You will be missing the point.

Choices are hard. Choices force us to pick a side, even when we are ill prepared to completely defend one side or the other. Throughout my life, I have struggled with this- I always find a way to make an argument for either side and decisions become difficult.

It’s all complicated.

And yet, Election Day forces us to break down the complication and MAKE A CHOICE. A defendable choice.

So many days, I have the privilege of meeting with patients and families who are facing a choice. In what I do, they often have to choose between continuing treatment (albeit sometimes futile) and electing hospice, and its “association” with ‘end of life care’.

Not an easy conversation, to be sure.

In the purest of scenarios, I sit in living rooms or at kitchen tables where votes are cast by people that don’t like the choices.  No one can blame them and yet they are forced to vote because no choice is a choice that comes with its own set of consequences.

They have to vote, even when they don’t like the choices.

Many days, I sit with patients and families, weighing out their options of pursuing further treatment versus accepting hospice care. I wish we didn’t place these decisions of burden on families who are already scared and a little desperate. So often, I have to explain Option A has consequences, Option B has consequences  and I, unfortunately, don’t have and Option C to offer.

Option C-it’s the one where we get all the choices without the side effects. It doesn’t exist. It is like the political candidate who cares for all the social issues but takes care of all the financial ones, too.

Option C is getting all the cancer treatment with the 24/7 support for symptoms and family issues.

Option C is sheltering in place, with guarantees for safety.

Option C is a high risk birth with promise for a perfect future.

Option C is the Unicorn.

New Bumper Sticker: 2020 Unicorn for President. Leprechaun for VP….

In so many hard things, it is hard to vote, painful actually, because Option C, Candidate Unicorn, is not on the ballot.

Friends, HOPEspotters, I feel the struggle. Wanting to vote and searching for Option C. I am fortified by the brave with whom I’ve worked that have voted with the understanding that no choice is a choice. I am inspired by their courage to weigh what Option A vs Option B will do for them and they choose. I wholly get the feeling of, “I don’t like the choices” and yet, they vote.

A vote cast with a fearful and yet optimistic heart is the bravest vote of all. One that would make our ancestors proud.

P.S. Option C does exist. It co-exists. It’s called Faith...