The 4th of July holds so many memories and emotions for me. I remember wonderful times growing up at my great grandparent's lake place. The whole family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles, great great aunts and uncles, cousins-1st, 2nd, etc, etc) would gather for a picnic. We'd swim in the lake, eat food and head in to Lake Bemidji for the fireworks.
Fast forward to "adulthood." Recent college grad. Going to the Americana Festival in downtown Centerville, OH. Young married, enjoying the festivities in downtown Dayton. Meeting up with friends for the fireworks.
After my years of working at the base, I am always reminded of those I know who are serving our country. I spend some time praying for those I know who are in harms way or will be. I feel so honored to know them and to have worked beside them. I am also grateful for those in my family who have served or are serving.
Then there's the year I skipped. The year we got married. While on our honeymoon, our nephew Micah went home to be with the Lord. For those of you well versed in grief, you know how it goes. Some years/days are better than others. This year it hit me a little harder. I think it is because I feel farther away this year than I have in years past (though my sister informs me I am about 20 or so miles closer to her now than I was in OH). For a little more insight on Micah and my sister's family feel free to check out these posts on her blog. God has done some amazing things in the years since but sometimes the grief sneaks back up on me.
I worked this year and was glad to. The holiday pay is nice but it was nice to come home tired and not think too much about it or missing my family. The Lord provided some wonderful friends for the girls and Ralph to spend the afternoon with. After work, Ralph picked me up and I was able to join in the festivities. The girls did really well with the noise of the fireworks given the time of night and their general exhaustion. However, they still didn't last long so we went inside with a couple other kiddos and watched Toy Story 2. Hope you all had a wonderful day and made some good memories this year.