For the last four days, I've been sick.
I'm the kind of sick where it hurts to move, I can't breathe properly, and people shrink back when they see my blotchy face. I've gone through a 6-pack of Kleenex and have resorted to blowing my noise in toilet paper that I've liberated from the bathroom.
It's just a head cold, but I feel like death is at the doorstep. I know you've been there too.
But as awful as I feel, you know what I haven't been worried about?
Losing my job
Not being able to pay my bills
Being evicted from my home
Why? Because, unlike 41 percent of Virginia workers, I have access to paid sick leave.
While I sit on the couch, surrounded by cough drop wrappers and empty soup bowls, I know that my job will be there on Monday, when I'm back on my feet.
There are 1.2 million workers in Virginia who can't say the same -- and that's something we need to fix.
Paid family leave is something that's been killed in the Republican-held General Assembly for the last two years. It's time to elect leaders who will fight for change.
Of course, along with blowing my nose every two minutes, I've also managed to lose my voice. That means I haven't been able to call donors directly to ask for help with the final six weeks of campaign expenses.
Can you help me catch up by making an online contribution of $10, $20, $50 or $100? My vocal cords will thank you!
With much gratitude,
PS -- Below, I've copied and pasted the Facebook message I shared on Tuesday night. But what's most important is what happened next. More than a dozen people reached out to me privately behind the scenes, offering to bring soup, watch my kids, drop off more cold medicine, pick up school supplies and dog food, and--above all--reminding me that it takes a village. It does, indeed, and I'm grateful to each and every one of you!
It's been a hell of an evening.
To all the moms who work a full day and then come home to one kid explaining why lunch detention was not really his fault, one kid dying of embarrassment because you are 15 minutes late to the after-school activity pickup line, and another kid with an ear infection that requires an immediate three hour trip to the walk-in clinic (only to discover they are out of the special ear drop medication): I SEE YOU.
When you only have energy to hit the McDonald's drive-through for dinner. When you are fighting your own cold virus, but can't slow down because your kid needs three bottles of liquid glue for science class tomorrow. When you finally get home at 9pm and realize there is no more dog food in the house and wonder if it's okay to feed them leftover tacos from the fridge. I SEE YOU.
I'm fighting for our families, so that an unexpected trip to the walk-in clinic doesn't mean you can't pay your electricity bill. I'm fighting for our schools so that teachers have classroom funding that covers basic supplies.
I'm fighting because some days are tough. And we need leaders who get it.