Red, white, and blue flags are flying high with Lee Greenwood’s song ringing in my ears. Oh yes, I AM proud to be an American! Right now we are free, and I pray that we will stay that way. With the recent happenings in our state and the attention being drawn to another flag, the Confederate Flag, we hope that our freedom won’t be taken away much like there is talk of them taking down that particular flag. Heritage, not hate, is what that flag stands for, but so many view it differently. It is a source of pain for them. A reminder of a time when their ancestors didn’t have freedom. But thank God, we’re all free today!
Freedom. So many take that for granted. We have so many privileges here in the United States, so many opportunities. Let us not forget that we have our freedom due to young men and women who fought and who are currently fighting hard for our great Country. Take time to remember them today as the vast majority are not able to be home to celebrate Independence Day with their family.
Make memories. Lots of them! My daughter’s boyfriend is on his way to the beach tomorrow morning to kick off his 4th of July celebrations. They will laugh, soak up the sun, and get sand between their toes. They will come back refreshed, with sun kissed skin, and lots of memories that will carry them through the rest of their lives They will look back on this Summer and smile. Precious memories will be made this week with their family, and maybe they’ll remember to take a picture or two along the way to share. That’s what it’s all about, though. Make memories with your family this 4th of July!
Hold your loved ones close. My coworker is off this week as well to share time in the mountains with her two adult sons. This time will be different, though, than vacations in the past. She’s spoken to me about how this will be a lavish trip. She will make sure that she spares no expense as she hasn’t been with her sons on vacation in about ten years. About two years ago, she was told she has Lymphoma. She went through chemo that made her physically sick and weak. She suffered through the treatments, lost her hair, and struggled to find her sense of normal again. After her hair started to grow back, she felt she had a new lease on life. She was told she needed maintenance chemo, but this would not be the type that she had before. Thankfully, it wouldn’t make her as sick, and she wouldn’t lose her precious locks this time around. The treatments are so expensive, though, that she said she is no longer able to continue with them. In 2016, she has realized that she will not have the money for her maintenance chemo, so she is splurging on this vacation with her sons and is making those memories while she still can. Hearing this brought tears to my eyes. The thought that she’s having this extravagant vacation with them because she fears it will be their last. So, she’s going all out while she can. I gently reminded her to take those pictures. She isn’t one for pictures, unlike myself. I snap pictures all the time, every where, and LOVE it. But now is the time she truly needs to take the camera out, dust it off, and snap those memories so that her sons will have something to hold in their hands to remember the great time they had together. I wish that for them all. That this will be a beautiful time of bonding for Mother and Sons.
What about you? What will you do this 4th of July to celebrate our freedom? Whatever you do, make it count. Don’t let the day go by unnoticed. Whether you deck all out in your finest American attire showing your American pride, or you kick back at the lake to enjoy the beautiful array of colors that light up the sky, make every second count. You won’t get a “do over.” You will not be able to get this day back. Enjoy it to the fullest. Do an act of kindness for someone. Share your smile. And love. Show your love for your fellow man. That might be the only bit of God that some people see is through you. Shine your light proudly, and if given the chance … when someone notices your happiness and wants to know how they can find that happiness, too … lead them to Jesus.
Happy 4th of July to you all.