Monday, July 5, 2010

Independence Day

Last night I watched the local fireworks show on tv while my girls slept peacefully in their beds. I recorded the show on our DVR so that I can show them the fireworks tonight after dinner, before bed.

I got a little down sitting there, all by myself on a day when everyone I knew was celebrating with family or friends. I thought of Private Ryan and how much I wished he was here, but I also felt thankful that he is willing to become one of the people who fight for our country and allow us celebrate our independence year after year.

I texted a little bit with Jessica, sad that it has been so long since the last time we hung out in person. But I am also happy to have her in my life. I am so proud of who she has become, and I'm thankful to her husband for being good to her. I am thankful to him also for being another of the ones who has spent time offering his life in exchange for our freedom. He has seen war, he has been injured in a foreign country fighting for people who have never had the freedoms that we celebrate. And now that he has left the army, he is still risking his life every time he goes to work, fighting for what's right. He is an officer for the local police force.

I texted with my cousin too ... She and her boyfriend have made up for the time being, and they celebrated the holiday together last night at their home surrounded by her boyfriend's family. I remember when we were kids and our grandmother would always take us to the fireworks show at the airport near where we lived. We always loved it, and I love it still! I can't wait until next year when Piglet will hopefully be old enough to handle the booms and Teenybop will hopefully not be in trouble.

As rough as the day was, though, it wasn't all bad. I loved my kids, I missed my man, and I enjoyed my friends even though they are often too far away to reach.

What that means is that I am free, in a country where I can have as many kids as I want, I can take them to church, or choose not to. I can call a friend, and I have a man learning to how to fight for those rights. The simplest of things that we as Americans often take for granted, things that aren't even dreams for people in less fortunate countries. I can walk down the street alone. I can vote. I can own property. I speak out against a president I don't approve of ... ahem ... and nothing bad will happen to me because of it.

So to those who are not involved with the American Armed Forces? I hope you had a GREAT night. I hope you celebrated and enjoyed friends and family. I hope you felt love and peace and happiness.

And to those who are involved or have been involved with the American Armed Forces? Simply said? Thank you. Because even in my bout of loneliness, I celebrated and enjoyed friends and family. I felt love, and peace. And happiness.