Hope you and your loved ones have a safe holiday weekend.
In addition to Fourth of July, Monday is my mother’s birthday. She would have been 83 years old. Mom served briefly in the Navy, but the lessons she learned helped shape the rest of her life. She valued her time in the Navy and supported those who served. I’m grateful that Mom saved all of her Navy memorabilia, so I have everything from photos to newspaper clippings to her class notebooks.
I’ll be thinking about Mom this weekend and all of those who have served their country, whether in the military or through volunteer work as civilians.
Sometimes, I think Mom departed the planet at just the right time. When I look back over the past year, I think of all of the horrible tragedies that have happened, the numerous, deadly terrorist attacks and mass shootings that have taken so many innocent lives.
My mom did not understand all of the politics and history behind international terrorism, but a mother crying over the death of a child in a market bombing? My mother could connect with that based upon a universal sense of humanity and compassion.
Mom never understood why anyone would choose to act out of hate, instead of love. I sometimes was dismissive of her simplistic attitude, but we could certainly use a bit more positive thinking in our world right now.
At the same time, there is deep division in America, as we find ourselves mired in an ugly political season and having to face serious issues that don’t have easy answers. Perhaps those who have already departed are the fortunate ones.
Still, there is much to appreciate about America, and what the country has been able to accomplish over its history. When a terrible event occurs, the outpouring of compassion and generosity that occurs offers a glimmer of hope for our country. My mom always focused on the good in people, and I’m going to try to adopt a bit of that attitude in her memory.
My parents loved America; my mom served in the Navy and my dad immigrated from his beloved homeland of northern Ireland and became a U.S. citizen. Hopefully that sense of pride is not lost forever on future generations of Americans.
Today, I hope you and your family are able to enjoy time together, however you mark the day.