Last year I spent the fourth of July in an emergency room in Miami. I was on a mission trip and one of the girls on my team was sick. We were preparing to board a flight for Lima, Peru the next morning and the organizers of the mission trip didn’t want her leaving the country if she shouldn’t go. So instead of fireworks and patriotic songs, I prayed in the emergency room, held her hand and acted as a surrogate mom. Thankfully we both boarded the plane very early the next day and spent 10 amazing days serving the Lord in Peru.
At the same time, my oldest OS was touring Europe. He was attending Student Leadership University and taking in many sites. Pretty much living large and in charge. My middle son was at a church camp, my sister was on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy, my mom had just gotten out of the hospital. My husband and our youngest OS were headed to the mountains for a fishing trip. We were all over the place in every sense of the word. It was a memorable fourth for all of us.
This year we’ll be together – my parents, my sister and her family, the DH, the two OS and me. No foreign countries, no hospital, just having a hometown holiday. Hallelujah! But it will be unusual also because Nathan isn’t here. It’s my first Independence Day as a mama of a soldier, his first in the Army. (I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence…A year ago I never dreamed I would have made that sentence.)
Nate’s not checking out the Italian
girls or eating pizza in Florence like he was during SLU last year. Pretty sweet gig for a 17 year old boy, huh?
He’s not mowing lawns or pestering me about not having enough food in the house either. He’s probably marching, learning “knowledge,” polishing his shoes and doing push-ups. We all have to get used to the change. This is a new picture we have of our son. He’s the fourth cadet from the left.
We’re heading downtown for an old-fashioned fourth of July event and I’m ready to be decked out in all my West Point regalia. Although I miss my son intensely, this is the proudest holiday I’ve ever had. I certainly hope I run into someone I know, I’ve got to tell somebody about my boy!
God bless my son and the country he serves. I carry you in my heart.