Monday, July 4th my extended family did something that many thousands of other families across our nation did this year. We gathered on that Independence Day to celebrate Faith, Family, and Freedom in a country, though divided in many ways, happens to still be the best one on the planet.
We met at our daughter Cathy’s home in New Hampshire, and our great assembly on that beautiful day included all five of Lorna’s and my children, all twelve grandchildren, our two great-granddaughters, and the spouses and ‘intendeds’ of our clan. Two of my sisters, Jan and Paula, were also there, as was someone who turned out to be the impromptu guest of honor, my bright and sassy ninety-eight-year-old mom, Lillian Shuman.
The weather was gorgeous, and the food was wonderful; the day was not only complete, but totally relaxed and enjoyable, thanks to about two days preparation by Cathy. (Thank you Hon.) Everyone loved the chance to be together there, just to bask in the sun and enjoy each other’s company.
I mentioned, as the day drew to a close, that it would be a long time before we would all be able to be together in one place again, if we ever could be. I was then reminded by my son in law, Adam, that although that observation may have been true, at least we got to do it this once, which is more than many families have been able to do.
On the drive back up here to our home in Central Vermont I thought a lot about Adam’s words of help. (My kids are smarter and wiser than I am, and that is a good thing. Many times, they have guided this old guy away from such negative observations as that one Adam helped me sort out.)
And I thought about my mom’s tee shirt. Those words, Faith, Family, and Freedom were there, and in that order, which is exactly the order Mom and Dad always emphasized as they raised their own family. I will forever owe them so much for that.
Times are a bit strange right now, and many see the future as something to fear. But the ‘good fight’ is far from over. Have Faith in Almighty God, cherish the blessings of your own Family, and appreciate your Freedoms here in our great United States.
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