A Heartache Tonight


Part of me can’t wait for 2016 to morph into 2017 and another part of me is fearful of how much worse it’s going to be. I see nothing good coming from this transition of power.

I am and have been determined to push back at every opportunity to hold this new regime’s feet to the fire but, lately, I’ve become very sad. I’m not a crier by nature. Crying never helped me through any of the tough times in my past but, suddenly the slightest thing puts a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.

Many tears dampened my cheeks last night as I watched the Kennedy Center Honors. I look forward to it every year but, this year I knew it would be difficult because it’s the last time for the Obama’s and what’s left of civility in politics and the arts as we know it.

So many of the honorees last night were a huge part of my life. James Taylor is like comfort food in music form, to me. Bonnie Raitt came out and I started to cry.


I scribbled notes on a pad of paper while I watched and it is a hodge-podge of love and sadness, fear and anger. What will next year’s event be like? Will there even be one? Who will be ‘honored’? Chachi and Nugent?? Or the orange buffoon himself?

The Obama’s looked so sad. Not like most years. It was heartbreaking. Tears welled up again. I shook them off for a while as I became more fearful and angry than sad.

I was remembering where I was when I heard of JFK’s assassination. Sitting in 8th grade English class as it came over the PA system. Talk about your moment of silence. As I recall it was, perhaps, the first manikin challenge. No one stirred.

Mavis Staples tribute, gospel music, bawling my eyes out.

Linda Ronstadt! I’m always sad when I think that she can no longer sing and how painful that must be for her. Now, my face is a sopping mess.

When they got to the Eagles I was already a puddle and, even though the finale was meant to be fun and rousing I simply wasn’t feeling that way. Vince Gill, Garth Brooks, Bob Seeger! The ‘70’s and ‘80’s flashed through my heart and when the camera went to Don Henley, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmit, they all looked sad.

Could have been they were wishing Glenn Frey was there with them, but I suspect it goes even deeper than that. It was more than sadness on their faces, I believe. Maybe they’re afraid, too.

Stephen Colbert did his best to lighten things up, but it didn’t lift the pall in the room. There were too many heavy hearts to lift. It really was A Heartache Tonight.



  1. Bonnie K. Aldinger

    Awww. I don’t usually watch this but if I can find a little time, now I would like to. 🙁

    • Barbara

      It’s usually really fun to watch, but this year was different. Everything is different now.

  2. Haralee

    I recorded it and will watch tonight. I will be sure to have a hanky ready!

    • Barbara

      It just seemed like the reality of what has happened smacked me in the face, Haralee.

  3. Michelle

    🙁 It’s been a tough year.

    • Barbara

      And it’s not over yet.

  4. Lee Sequeira

    Love your notes! Sorry to say we were traveling and missed the HONORS, so I’m hoping they will show them again, or I can watch on demand.

    I would have been so much more excited for 2017 (esp on JAN 20th) but now I just cannot muster up the excitement — it’s more like dread (and the FOOL is still tweeting!)

    Ok, CHINS UP GIRLS, we will fight the fight and do all we can to make the world a better, brighter, and SMARTER place!

    • Barbara

      You’re right, Lee, we can’t give up the fight but, I needed to let the tears flow so I didn’t implode! Maybe I should only watch sad movies for the rest of this year and get it all out!

      • Lee Sequeira

        Then we’ll watch the crazy ones (or just turn on the news)!

  5. Cathy Chester

    The night before the awards a State Department party was held for the honorees. Hosted by Kevin Spacey and Sean Penn many barbs were tossed around about Chump, our next PE who is a buffoon and completely ignorant of American history. That made me feel somewhat better to know that. Then Colbert threw a line in his intro directed at Chump as well. Ahh.

    I feel as you do. This has been a horrible year personally and also for the country. The losses we’ve suffered – our many heroes – now gone. I’m fearful for 2017 and how much more divided our country will become. We will have to keep our guards up and take action when necessary. This is our 1960’s.

    Thanks for expressing my feelings, Barbara. I wish you joy, happiness, peace and much love. Let’s hold onto that as we go through our next chapter.

    • Barbara

      Thanks, Cathy. You’re right, we have to keep our guard up but, I really never wanted to relive the ’60’s! We’ll get through this, I am certain, but it won’t be easy.

  6. hillsmom

    Hi Barbara, I don’t understand why my comment didn’t show? Could it be because I included a
    link to another site which I thought might give you something to ponder? Have I been banned?
    “Oh, the humanity!” Will this one show? Anyway, I wish you the best for the New Year even though we have to put up with the orange anus and his ill-chosen cabinet.
    BTW, the pictures on this and your last post oddly come in sideways. Fortunately, going to your site “turns” them right.

    Cheers, from Gussie, too =^..^= She notes, on this drizzly, dreary day that there are 9 more minutes of daylight in the evening!

    • Barbara

      You’re not banned, Diane, trust me. I’m going to be updating the site next year, which is right around the corner. This template has lasted quite a while, but it’s time to upgrade. The sideways pics have been a pain lately. No explanation. Have a wonderful 2017!

  7. Donna

    I had 2 enormous events occur in 2016, one was not only finding out my biological mother wasn’t 16as I had been told, but was 32 and already had 3 sons. After giving me away she married my biological father and had 4 more children. It was difficult to comprehend. Then a month later I almost died. The other events of the year seem minuscule in comparison. I believe we will not only survive but flourish. It is up to us….

    • Barbara

      I knew about your heart attack, Donna, but the story about your mother is a WOW! It may have caused your heart issue because, it must have been heartbreaking. You are right, it is up to us how we manage this year and I have to believe it will work out for the best, somehow.
      Stay healthy and happy!

  8. Linda P.

    I’ve grieved, too, since November, and we each must take the time it takes us to grieve. I’m beginning to turn around my emotions, but I know these upcoming years will bring moments of utter sadness and feelings of helplessness, too. Someone, somewhere, suggested reading Hope in the Dark</i) by Rebecca Solnit, and I've begun reading it. This is not a feel-good soothing kind of book, but rather a call to action. "Hope is dangerous," she says because "hope requires action." She elucidates the way that historical movements have unfolded, reminding us of the messiness of birthing change. For me, personally, 2016 began with little hope. I had been using a cane for more than two years because of the effects of rheumatoid arthritis, and I was beginning to see some of my other body systems attacked by this auto-immune disorder. Worse, a few days before my 66th birthday in late December, I had been diagnosed with a disorder that's sometimes called the most painful disorder people can experience, and it's one that is progressive. Within a few months of my diagnosis, four people known to a closed FB group for people with this disorder committed suicide or succumbed to the effects of the massive dosages of anti-seizure and other medications needed to manage even the hope of a functional life. My prognosis was to be on ever-increasing dosages of anti-seizure medications and still suffer bouts of breakthrough pain. At some point in the future, the effect of the anti-seizure medications would completely wear off and then . . . . . Narcotics don't usually help this kind of pain. In May, I underwent brain surgery after being given a 50-60% chance that the surgery would untangle the blood vessels constricting nerves at the base of my brain and resolve the condition. Most people eligible for this surgery have better odds, but my condition had not been diagnosed for years, and so additional damage had been done that meant I might not respond as well as other candidates for the surgery. I might lose some hearing in addition to a hereditary loss I had already suffered (I did), and I risked worse and more constant pain. That doesn't seem like a good bargain, but I knew the alternative was an almost 100% chance that I would eventually exhaust the beneficial effect of the anti-seizure medications and would, along the way, suffer the ill-effects of those medications (I already was). I went forward, feeling as if I had to give myself a chance for a functional life. I am not pain free, and my condition could recur at any time, but for right now, right this moment, I am off all anti-seizure medications and about 90% pain free. I, my neurologist, my neurosurgeon and my rheumatologist were also surprised to see that the surgery must have somehow also released pressure from a nerve that was causing my difficulty in walking, and I no longer need a cane. So, I guess this is a long way of saying I'm open to the hope that Solnit offers, hope that may not result in quick change or permanent change and that is risky. I have contributed to the Women's Walk on January 21, and, although I won't be able to go to Washington, I am making plans to walk in one of the sister cities. And so it begins again, the long walk that many of our generation thought we had walked on behalf of our daughters and sons and our grandchildren. This time, some of them will be with us.

    • Barbara

      I would say you are quite the miracle, Linda! I hope you continue to heal and thrive, no matter what this new year brings!

  9. Caitlynne Grace

    Your fears and sadness I share, Barbara. I go into the New Year with a heart like lead. It feels like the last vestige of hope has gone.

    But this is what I think: if no one will help us, then we must help one another, with whatever talents we have, whatever we have at our disposal. You have this great, honest blog here, Barbara, and I have mine, and we probably have more we could use.

    We have a God above, and He won’t let go of us.

    Happy New Year, Barbara.

    • Barbara

      You are so right, Caitlynne! We will help one another and we will keep writing and moving forward. I do believe we are a force to reckon with and we will show up!
      Bless you!

  10. Madeline Kasian

    I think we all have moments of reminiscing and when we are overwhelmed with the passing of time, with age-ing, with the loss of our youthful times..and I know music represents a lot of that.And then, we have the sadness of who is replacing our beloved Obama in our White House, that alone brings ME to tears. It is natural, this passing away of TIME and the beginning of new times and new people, and new music,even. I usually just allow myself to wallow a bit, when I am feeling down.. I find if we just give our sadness some room.. it then moves on and morphs into a mellow appreciation and we can again start to look at our youthful times, and times gone by, with joy and happiness… as we look forward to making NEW memories and enjoying the times ahead. I am sorry to hear of your rough evening– but I know you will bounce back stronger!

    • Barbara

      I have taken the end of year and given myself the time to wallow, Madeline. I’m not a crier by nature but, boy this past month has been pretty sappy. It’s time to buck up and face what’s ahead with a clear head and open heart. Wishing you a happy new year!

  11. alicia warren

    Ummm, America was NOT supposed to be about celebrities.
    Wanna cry about something?
    How about the 95million Americans who have been out of work these past few years through no fault of their own. Can you imagine how they have been living and what they have been living on? Salaries are down, minimum wage has led to many of these jobs being replaced by robots. Where are your tears for them?
    Or how about the millions of Americans who have seen their health insurance premiums rise to outlandish amounts? $15,000 deductibles? really? or the 20 million young people, over the age of 26 who have chosen to pay the fine rather than get catastrophic health coverage. Who will cry for them?
    What about the 47million Americans who are struggling on food stamps? Don’t you think they would want to earn more money, have a better job, a better quality of life?
    Are you for friggin real? You’re worried about Linda Ronstadt?? What about all the other nameless Linda’s in this country struggling to make ends meet at the hands of Obama and Clinton?
    I am so glad you friggin ‘Liberals have been voted off the face of this earth. Your kind is gone, gone, gone and good riddance too! Self absorbing pieces of crap and useless human excrement. The way that Obama has been acting these last few weeks in office should make one’s hair stand on end: releasing prisoners onto the populace, denying Israel protection, making Trumps job impossible. Ain’t gonna work. Trump is gonna wipe you people off the face of this earth.
    And good riddance you pompous asshole.

    • Barbara

      What makes you think I have no idea what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck or, need assistance to even get enough food to eat?
      You know nothing about my life and obviously have not read anything on this blog before.
      Having a tough life should never lead to a level of self pity that removes any shred of compassion for others, even Linda Ronstadt, for example. The irony of your rant, Alicia, is you voted in those who have the same lack of compassion for ALL people as you have. It’s a shame you can’t see it now but, stop back in a year or two and we’ll chat again.

    • Rod

      You’re the one doing all the crying and ranting.
      You must be one miserable person.
      Instead of blaming the government look in the mirror!

      • Cheryl A Nicholl

        Same goes for you Rod.

    • Cheryl A Nicholl

      Dear Lord- you make me ashamed to be a ‘Conservative’ Alicia. May I suggest you refrain from attempting (badly I might say) to release the populous rant many ‘liberals’ are expecting from an obviously angry self absorbed different kind of crap? I do not wish you ‘riddance’ of any kind- pompous or not, but if you’d like to tango with someone not NEARLY as dear as Barbara, please step right up. I’m always waiting.

      • Barbara

        Thank you, Cheryl! I am aware that all ‘conservatives’ are not like this but, not all liberals are of narrow vision either. We have to stop making this black and white. It just IS NOT black and white.

    • Angela

      The 94 million people that are not working include students ages 16-22, retired people, the disabled and those collecting disability, those people that stay home to care for family and those who choose not to work. So I guess we need to tell the high school kids, the college students, the stay-at-home moms and dads, the disabled, even grandma and grandpa to stop lollygagging and go get a job.
      15.1 million new jobs were created under President Obama. He stimulated the auto industry, Chrysler and GM created over 250,000 jobs.
      20 million people have gained health insurance coverage because of ACA
      24% of Americans are liberals it is impossible to “wipe us out”. As a liberal I believe that
      “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. We are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”
      We do not scare and we fight for EVERYONES rights, including yours.

      • Barbara

        Amen, Angela!!!

  12. John

    It seems like many of you in the U.S. are going through what half of us went through in the UK when the country voted to leave the European Union. That sense of foreboding, of people being manipulated to make a choice based on fear, rascism and popularity. Sad times but everything goes in cycles and after the tears and fears I feel certain that movement of people globally that will put hope and compassion back into our societies. We can but hope and act.

    • Barbara

      I think most of us never expected to share the experiences our British friends have this year, John, but here we are. I am beginning to believe the people who opted for the extreme route will soon discover they put their hopes and dreams into the wrong hands. Careful what you wish for, as they say. The pendulum must come back the other way and, the sooner the better for us all!

  13. Bob Lowry

    “Everything is different now.” Part of your response to Bonnie’s comment says it all for me. I just don’t know what is going to happen. Reality, truth, honor, respect, even common sense seem to have become passe. Our country, our very lives, are in the hands of a dangerous idiot who is too stupid to even grasp that he is an idiot. Can the end of our way of life really happen on Twitter?

    If you and Dave are still planning on coming west next month, we will have a good cry into our various drinks.

    • Barbara

      I’m sorry to say, we won’t be coming your way this year, Bob. I was really looking forward to it, but things have come up that made us rethink our winter trip. However, we will find a way to get together sometime soon. Maybe meet halfway? I’m not sure what this year is bringing and trying not to obsess about it, too much.
      We will raise our glass toward the west this evening!

    • Anne-Marie

      Ditto, if you are going West, stop by and visit (anytime.)
      On the shores of The Fox, less than 5 miles to the WISCONSIN Border!

  14. Karen

    I didn’t watch the televised version as I don’t have TV, but I did watch many of the performances (as I do every year) on YouTube and had some of the very same thoughts, especially in regards to what the new administration will bring to events like this. :::sigh:::

    • Barbara

      Yeah, it’s something we’re not used to and don’t want to get used to, Karen.

  15. Helene

    Barbara, you know I share your feelings exactly. I did watch the KCH with a tear in my eye, too. It is like we are falling into a deep dark hole with nothing to cling to. We must do all we can to make our voices heard. Four years is a long time, but we’ve got our mandate and we’re going to fight.

    • Barbara

      I know we’re on the same page, Helene. I’m planning on joining the march in Philly so let me know if you’re going, too. We will find a place to meet!

  16. Eileen Hopkins

    As a Canadian, I usually with hold comment on American politics, but, this time – THIS TIME – it is very difficult to sit on this side of the border and wonder how so many people put their trust in such an immoral, deceitful man. Lying, cheating, fear-mongering, and radical views on the treatment of women, other races and religions and immigrants – all of this didn’t seem to matter as long as he somehow got the message to those who have been under-employed or angry at Obama politics and somehow talked them into voting with their eyes closed. Somehow, many must have decided that they could trust the party no matter who the leader is. Democrat or Republican – all can have their own political views and directions but, really, don’t they need a leader with a cool head and moral campus to guide them. That is as close to a rant as I can go. We share a border. Many of us share each others lives. I have grandchildren growing up in the USA. I can only hope there are some seriously strong people out there somewhere that will keep the President under control and not set him free to chomp his way through four long years of Twitter posts! Now back to biting my tongue!

    • Barbara

      You never have to bite your tongue here, Eileen! I welcome your input anytime.

  17. Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski

    I watched the show as well and with the same emotions. I can’t imagine the orange one sitting there and giving a hoot about any of the recipients. Maybe we’ll see Gary Busey or Scott Baio get the awards. As for the woman who chimed in on jobs, healthcare and the like, when are people going to realize many of those jobs are gone because of technology and will never come back? The ACA needs some tweaks and would be better non-profit but Republicans would never allow it. And a man who lives in a Golden Palace has zero connection with a man who drives a truck. He’s bringing in the billionaires to benefit other billionaires. This is going to be a very weird and scary next 4 years.

    • Barbara

      I agree, Rebecca, and I honestly feel sorry for the fools who voted for him. They were duped, though some were just ridiculously following party, which makes no sense to me. It is going to be a bumpy ride, for sure!

    • Anne-Marie

      Right on Rebecca!
      Everything you said is true!
      Amazing how ignorant some people are.

  18. MaryAnn

    I finally got to watch the show. It was great but a twinge of sadness as you described. I am already exhausted watching the political scene and it isn’t even Jan 20

    • Barbara

      I know how you feel MaryAnn. The coming year or more is going to be exhausting but, we have to stay diligent.

  19. Valorie Ryley

    Your story made me sad but I felt better because I know I’m not alone. Someone else feels as I do. Thank you.

    • Barbara

      You’re welcome!

  20. Carol A Cassara

    I caught sight of this one again and had to tweet it out.

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