Capitol Hill

My cousin serves Alabama’s 4th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. In January of 2001, Robert Aderholt was being sworn into his third term of office. My mom Truby, my daughter Cassie, lots of cousins, and I flew to Washington, D.C., to celebrate with him at his office in Longworth House on Capitol Hill.

Robert gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of the U.S. Capitol. What an amazing place! The circular Rotunda is where eleven presidents have lain in state, including Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan. We climbed the 365-step staircase from the Crypt under the Rotunda to the top of the dome above the Rotunda. Did you know that there is a walkway on the outside around the top of the dome? I was too afraid to do anything but peek out the door.

The North Wing of the Capitol is home to the Senate chamber. Though we were not allowed to touch anything, we got to walk onto the Senate floor. The South Wing is the House of Representatives chamber. Our family had one seat in the gallery which overlooked the House floor. We each got to observe for fifteen minutes. During my fifteen minutes, the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, was presented!

We traveled between the Capitol buildings through underground tunnels on electric subway cars. At every stop on our tour, we went through a security checkpoint. And at every security checkpoint, the metal in my prosthetic elbow, wrist, and hand set off the alarms. The tour would stop while everyone waited for me to be “wanded” and “patted.” Once was fine. Twice was ok. The third time I was embarrassed. The fourth time I felt humiliated. Then…Robert walked over to me, put his arm around my shoulders, looked at the security guard, and said, “She’s with me.” From that point on, he and I walked through each checkpoint together.

There is a quote by Daniel Webster etched in marble on the wall of the House of Representatives. It says, “Let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests, and see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered.” In my book of life, Robert has done that.

 

Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

Cassie, Truby, Robert & daughter Mary Elliott, Becky

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12 thoughts on “Capitol Hill

  1. Dear Becky, you are the first to remind people always that GOD never TAKES, GOD GIVES and what he gave you, you have shared with hundreds of others throughout your young life time!
    Being three days older than our first daughter, Susan, and the fact that your parents and Melvin and I were best friends certainly gave me an insight to the good LORD that I haven’t ever experienced since then, LIFE!!!
    No one held you back ever as you would never have let that happen anyway!!! Never was your “handicap” hidden by your parents or family or friends. Many, many questions were always asked, especially by young children when your mother and I would have you and Susan out shopping or wherever we were! Always had the time to answer them and tried our darnedest to never pay attention to all the rude staring people who never had the “guts” to ask, but let their kids do it for them!
    We dressed you and Susan alike as often as our meager funds would allow us to buy for you two babies. And all we had to buy were long pants, shorts and little T-shirts, as both of your grandmothers spent hours and hours sewing beautiful dresses for you two and all we had to add were the puffy slips for underneath them!
    You also did everything FIRST, before Susan even thought about it!
    Seemed like everyday here would come that gray Pontiac just roaring in our gravel driveway and out would pop your mother and you and then the show would begin! You crawled first, you walked first, you rode your tricycle first, you memorized a song first and would get atop a footstool and let her rip! This never made us mad as we were always as excited to see you excel as if you were our own! And the trips to Michigan to try on new arms were the best. Just ask your mother for those memories and if she can’t remember, just get out the video tapes that we took and see for yourself!!! Those were the days, filled with tears of joy, pride and often sadness for us, not for you, ever!!! GOD, PLEASE GIVE US PATIENCE TO UNDERSTAND THE RUDENESS OF OTHERS, was often said by all of us grown ups!!!!
    I am still asking for GOD’S help in this department!!! Maybe he is waiting on me to accept others, always, I am not sure!
    NO, MS. BECKY, YOU NEVER HAD A HANDICAP, BUT A BLESSING, TO BE SHARED WITH US ALL AND THAT IS JUST WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND WILL STILL BE DOING WHEN GOD CALLS YOU HOME TO REST!
    BLESS YOU CHILD FOR MANY GOOD TRAITS GIVEN TO US, BY YOU!
    WE LOVE YOU , MELVIN AND CAROL STOUTENBOROUGH

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    • Hello Carol and Melvin!
      Thank you for all the wonderful stories!! I may need to interview you for my next chapter. 🙂 When I think of you, I hear laughter, lots of laughter. So glad that you were in my life and my mom and dad’s life to help us maneuver through those early years.
      Love you!
      Becky

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  2. Becky,
    Thanks for letting me know about the blogs. I read the donut one, and now the capitol hill one. I look forward to your future blogs because you have an open-book life that’s an encouragement to all who are knowing you.
    Love,
    Dave

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  3. This story reminds of a song I heard a few years ago. Well, at least a little bit of the song. The chorus was about going to heaven and Jesus meeting you at the pearly gates. He goes up to the keeper of the gate and says, “This one’s with me.” And then the person entered Heaven on the arm of Jesus, as His special guest. In so many things in life, it’s all about who you know, as in your Capitol Hill experience. But even more important is Who you know in the eternal life. If you never knew the right Person in life, you’ll be left outside the Kingdom with no one to vouch for you. It’s great to know that He will vouch for both of us and say, “This one’s with me.”

    Donna

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