Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

by Sariah S. Wilson

I hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying their holiday weekend.

Growing up my family never had a traditional way of celebrating this holiday - we varied in what we did from year to year. But since we moved here in 1997, every year we have gone to my mom's house (she has a huge backyard), had a barbecue, lit off fireworks and watched a movie.

This is the last year we'll celebrate that way, because my parents are moving to Utah in about a month or so. I'm not hitching up the wagons to follow (as so many in my ward have asked). We have a good life here. My husband has a job that he loves, we're part of this community, we have a school that knows my son and works with him, I love the greeness of Ohio...but I'm still very sad. When I was younger, I had no relationship with my grandparents or aunts/uncles or cousins (except for my Aunt Pixie, who rocks). The times that we did get together with them were awkward and weird. They were strangers to us - it didn't matter that we were related. I didn't want that for my kids - I wanted them to have relationships wtih their extended family.

So my older two have it and will remember, but I'm afraid my daughter will forget, and my baby obviously won't really know them at all.

We think that we may move to Utah at some point because both sides of our family are all there, but it won't be for a long time.

As I sat on the patio, watching the fireworks go off all around us, I thought of how grateful I am for the ten years that we have had.

I thought of what July 4 means to me. Nothing profound, no praise-worthy prose, just this.

I am grateful every day to live in a free country.

I am thankful for those thousands upon thousands who gave their lives and continue to give their lives to keep this country safe and free.

I am glad that I can voice my thoughts, have disagreements over issues with others, campaign for what I believe in. Because it means that I live in a land where I won't be put to death for being true to myself. I live in a place where I am free to choose where I live, what job I do, how I raise my children, what faith I follow, how to dress, etc.

I can vote for the person I want to lead me and not have to worry that I might be put to death for casting that vote. Or that a tyrant will upend the elections and not follow the will of the people.

I am grateful that I can write what I want, read what I want, watch whatever TV or movie I want.

I am thankful for the chance to make decisions.

Freedom is one of the greatest gifts of all, and was the difference between two pre-mortal plans. One let us be free to choose, the other did not.

I try every day to make sure that I never take it for granted.


3 Comments:

At 7/05/2009 2:07 AM, Blogger L.T. Elliot said...

Happy 4th of July! I love the memories and passion in this post. Beautiful job, Sariah. Happiest of Independence Day's!

 
At 7/05/2009 9:50 PM, Blogger Keith Fisher said...

Very nice blog. I thank you.

 
At 7/06/2009 5:42 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

You have an Aunt Pixie? That really rocks!

 

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