The 4th of July has always been a double celebration in our family. It is, of course, our nation's birthday. But it is also our younger son's birthday - our Yankee Doodle Boy.
He was born back in those days when Dad's were strictly banned from the delivery room (so sad). My husband took me to the hospital, and and when I was settled in, he took our three year old little boy to the 4th of July parade.
My OBGYN sat on the window ledge of my room chatting off and on while he studied for a history exam. After many years of practicing medicine, he had decided to become a history teacher.
I don't remember much about the birth of my little one (sadder still). I got my first glimpse of him when they wheeled him into the room in a tiny bassinet with an american flag stuck to the corner. The only baby born in our small hospital that day, he got lots of attention.
Tomorrow we celebrate his 42nd birthday. Instead of a picnic or time spent on the river, we'll gather at the home he and our daughter-in-law recently purchased and help paint walls. Moving day is fast approaching, and they want to get things spic and span before they move the furniture in.
We come to help because we're family. We come because we try to always be there for one another - in the joys, sorrows and just plain old difficult times. We want to put arms around each other and stand.
We aren't a perfect family. There have been "those" times when it seemed like the fabric of our lives was unraveling, but we've learned forgiveness and restoration. We've discovered that "those" times somehow deepen the love and strengthen the ties that hold us together.
We remain standing through those storms because there is a common foundation beneath our feet. Our faith holds and steadies us; His grace sustains us; His love flows from His heart to ours.
These days, miles and even a vast ocean separate us. When we can't touch each other, we reach out to Him and He brings us close.
We are family. He is family. We are blessed.
Happy Fourth of July dear friends!