In March 2012 Rachel joined me for Buddy Walk on Washington. It was her first trip to DC. We met with the congressional delegation from Kansas. She was quick in learning that Congressman Yoder is a huge KU Jayhawk fan.
It wasn’t so hard with that big banner hanging in his office! It was in Senator Jerry Moran’s office that she declared her desire to live in a PINK HOUSE. The rest is history. It is a symbol of her march to independence.
While we were there, we were about the lower hallways and tunnels where the cafeterias are located. We had a few minutes and were making our way to our next appointment when I caught a glimpse of South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. He was alone and in a hurry! I said “Hello Senator Graham,” and he stopped. I was a bit surprised. When I worked as a 4-H agent in Arizona I took my four state 4-H ambassadors to Washington DC, and our meeting with Senator John McCain was cancelled because of a committee meeting. The girls were disappointed, but we ran into him in a tunnel below. He was not alone. He had a staffer with him. He nodded and said hello, but he kept moving. We had on ridiculously large name tags that said “Arizona 4-H” and the staffer said, “Senator McCain, they are from Arizona.” He stopped, took pictures with us and talked for probably five minutes.
So I was surprised that Senator Graham stopped. Before I could say anything he looked directly at Rachel, stuck out his hand to hers and said, “I love your outfit. That is very stylish.”
She politely said thank you. I told him we weren’t from South Carolina but would appreciate his support. He responded that he would support the ABLE Act, smiled and went on. It was pretty cool. Silly people wanted to know how I knew who he was?
This year my husband Jonathan was with us and here we found ourselves in the tunnels again. I’m thinking we should just get a recliner down there when we are on the Hill. You won’t believe this but guess who came strolling by again and alone? You got it: Senator Lindsey Graham. Again, I said “Hello Senator Graham.” He stopped and I told him we weren’t from South Carolina but we are here asking for support of the ABLE Act. We would appreciate your support for your own constituents who would benefit from this bill. He again said he would support the ABLE Act and by the way, “I love the pretty dress you have on young lady! Your cowboy boots are perfect!”
I often say you can’t make up the things that happen to us!
BUT, Senator Graham has not signed on as a co-sponsor of the ABLE Act of 2013. My message to Senator Graham is this: “I know you are busy Senator Graham. Hallway meetings at lunch are easy to forget. Rachel has a memory like an elephant for these type things, and she has not forgotten your promise to support the ABLE Act. Even though she is not from the great state of South Carolina, there are many people in your state who are your Rachel’s and need to you to join your many fellow Senators and sign on. Rachel is waiting and she keeps her promises. If she gets her pink house, you would be welcome to stop by and visit – anytime.”
Senator Graham, thank you for taking time to talk with us. Please co-sponsor the ABLE Act of 2013 today!