Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

A dialogue: What does today mean to you?

By any measure, today's election is unlike any in a generation. It's a very emotional moment for all of us who remember strings of events, over years, that led up to today.  As promised, below are some thoughts from some of the women who camw together, three years ago, to form Women's Voices for Change. We hope that you'll let us know, in comments, what you're thinking and feeling,  and what you hope the next stage will look like.

Faith Childs: It is said that the victor names the age.  We are standing on the edge of an era that will be named.  What that name is, none of us knows at this moment, but we will know it in our lifetimes.  Unlike other periods in American history where historians look backward to interpret and to designate, each of us will know the name of this age.   Certainly what happens tomorrow will represent a new beginning, one more representative of the values we espouse but rarely evince.                         

Laura Sillerman: Last night, a young woman whom I remember being born told me she is pregnant. 

In practically the next breath she said "And what a week this is going to be.  I won't sleep until after the election results are known."  Hearing that, I realized that I think of Tuesday as part of a legacy I want to leave.  I already feel that the under-30's of my experience are embracing activism and engagement in a way that gives me hope.  I want to give them reason to continue along that path and while I have very clear mind and heart connection to this race to November 4, more than anything, I care about the generations coming after me and what it will mean to them if the outcome isn't as I think it needs to be.

I was 14- years-old when JFK seemed to be speaking directly to me as he said, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."  I want to do for my country again, in the company of the generations behind me who can be inspired to believe in the worth of doing for theirs.    I look at this election and want to give young people the delineation between ambition and leadership and the inspiration to distinguish between them, questioning the motivation behind the former and embracing the latter.   This election means a chance to be idealistic after I've learned to be realistic.  I greedily want that chance-for myself, yes, and for all those following behind.                      

Elizabeth Hemmerdinger: Oh, gosh, it’s a lot to ask for, but I’m hoping this election brings about real change in the ethos of those who govern for us.  I’m hoping this election brings young, strong people into the process and that they stay involved, committed to understanding their government and their neighbors.  I’m hoping those young folk keep in mind the collective wisdom of our foreparents and their own contemporaries, that they don’t run off like hotshots deciding things in a vacuum.  I’m hoping they straighten out the flow of capital worldwide, reinforce respect among neighbors and nations, deal with our children – and their teachers – with a firm and wise hand, and heal the healthcare industry.  And our planet. I’m hoping come this time next year, we can sleep without fear, wake with a sense of pride in our nation and our own deeds, and work through the day with generosity and in security.     

Patricia Yarberry Allen: Mommie wanted to vote this year so badly.  She had become an Obama fan.  She told me that she felt that he had good values and common sense.  She liked the fact that he had come up the hard way and felt that he could understand the struggle of her many grandchildren who are working and going to college and through expensive post graduate educations.  
    She was admitted to a Kentucky hospital late Saturday night for a complication of treatment undergone in the last hospital admission.  She is so very frail and once again, very ill.  I spoke to her nurse late today.  The nurse was concerned because Mommie had been inconsolable during a television news program.  She worried that Mommie might have developed some brain injury during this hospitalization with the inappropriate emotion as a symptom.
    I asked the nurse what subject had been discussed on the news.  “I believe it was something about Mr. Obama’s grandmother passing”, she said.  
    “This was certainly appropriate behavior for Mommie”, I explained.  Mommie loved it that Sen. Obama treated his Grandmother with such respect and consideration.  She had known that he had flown to Hawaii a few days ago to see her, had known then that he might have travelled so far to say his farewell before her final journey.  Mommie knew how much it would have meant for Sen. Obama to share this Election Day experience with his grandmother.   She shares those close bonds with her own grandchildren.  She cried for his loss.  She cried for the lost experience of the beloved grandmother.
    It was hard to explain to this nurse that Mommie cries the way that Picasso painted, the way that Mozart composed.  She is an artist of weeping.  It sorts things out for her.

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  • Chris L. November 4, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    A few notes from my own voting experience today:
    The door of the house where I live now has a hand-drawn sign, drawn by my father-in-law: NO POLITICAL SOLICITATIONS. GO AWAY. It’s been a little brutal, here in the 58th Ward: the commercials are relentless, the mail, the phone calls even more so. No matter your sympathies, the cacophony is hard to take.
    Today, the vote itself was a little subdued — and a little odd, for someone who has previously voted only in NY and California. Here, instead of the 500-foot rule I’m used to, campaigns can and do post signs right up to 10 feet from the polling place. And I’ve obviously seen too many movies: the electronic voting machine, with its paper-looking plastic and only red lights to signify my choice, looked more like one of the old machines at Coney Island than anything 21st-century.
    Unlike the hours-long lines I know are still happening in downtown Philly, the recreation center where we voted today was busy but not jammed, though its count of 290 by noon ( me, my girl and her parents adding 286-290) still counted as record-breaking. But I’m glad we’re now headed into Center City, where election-day energy should be more in force.
    –Chris L.