Here in America, we just celebrated a birthday:) Independence Day…or the Fourth of July!! I have always enjoyed the Fourth. Not only does it take place in summer and we celebrate outdoors, but it does not seem to cause the stress that most of the other holidays do for me. I confess – most holidays are (too) stressful for me. Especially since our son died. We all try (too hard) in order to make each holiday special – especially happy – and even the best of holidays come with a lot of anxiety and pressure…as well as varying amounts of sadness. It is a challenge. Grief – when missing someone who was part of your heart – never really goes away. It certainly has stages and the feelings ebb and flow, but Tyler being absent will always impact how my family.
Side note: if loss is impacting your holidays, special days or even the ordinary days, acknowledge it. Trying to muscle through or to keep pushing on as if nothing has changed, is not only impossible but it just plain hurts. Find ways to acknowledge your hurting heart as well as look for ways to honor/acknowledge the one you are missing. I used to be reluctant to do so for fear of making others uncomfortable or “causing them grief.” Um, they were already grieving. Holidays can be special again but they will never be exactly what they were before.
The Fourth of July seems to be an easy holiday to enjoy! Although it is past – and it seems much longer than just six days ago – I thought I would join the Patriotic Ten on the Tenth link-up. Britain celebrated last month and Canada just a few days before we did here in the States – and I love hearing about all the different cultures and how you celebrate. So, please pick a question or two and leave me an answer in the comments.
- When is your country’s birthday? July 4th:)
- What are your country’s patriotic colors? Red, white and blue
- Do you wear those colors on Independence Day or your nation’s birthday? Yes. Pretty much everyone does. I like a patriotic t-shirt (or some such) for celebrating; however, most people tend to be patriotic on the Sunday closest to the Fourth. It might be the colors (or even a tie) but I always forget on Sunday. I’m pretty sure I seem to be the most unpatriotic person ever in our congregation:(
- Do you fly a flag at your home? Absolutely. Not all year – but for holidays…especially the Fourth. Do you decorate for Independence Day? Yes indeed. Although much less than when the kids were young, I still enjoy decorating for holidays. I will admit the red, white and blue colors to not really blend well into my decor (and look rather garish, if I’m honest) – another reason I have scaled back quite a bit
- How do you feel about wearing the flag? A t-shirt with an Old Glory on it would be okay – but I would feel awkward in an entire flag design. Strictly personal opinion.
- How do you celebrate your country’s birthday? With friends, food and fireworks!
- What is your favorite patriotic holiday food? Potato Salad and Ice Cream. Not necessarily in that order but when I think of cookouts and celebrations….those two foods always come to mind. And they are yummy!
- Do you visit the cemetery for Memorial or Veteran’s Day? No. We do “decorate” Tyler’s grave but we do not go to honor any particular veterans, etc. Any family members in the military? No
- How do you vote: absentee, early or on the day of? The day of – right in the middle of the longest line:)
- What is your favorite patriotic song? The Battle Hymn of the Republic, God Bless the USA, and America the Beautiful. Not the whole song – but I will end with a few of my favorite stanzas.
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.
O beautiful for heroes prov’d
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine.
God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.