As I sat this evening watching our towns fireworks display with my 3 yr old son Ej.   I found myself reflecting on so many aspects of my life and what life is to me. It’s sort of funny because on many levels I hate all holiday’s for one reason or another and for that simple fact, I had no problem pretty much making them non existent in my world. I don’t know if that bothers my older kids, I guess maybe I should ask. But now that I have Ej, I have to be honest in saying that, with my recent acceptance of all things Mari I am, on some level “okay” with allowing bits of the celebratory things “in” just for the memories! Don’t get me wrong, I still hate  pretty much all of them and wish they weren’t so “forced” upon EVERYONE! But, after being stripped of my older children by a bitter, angry, lying and manipulative ex and losing half their lives, milestones and memories….now that I have the little one I find myself cherishing every single second chance.

As for the 4th of July, I found that a I have only a few memories. From the time I was 7 yrs old until I was 12 I flew to see my dad and spent the summers with him. I loved those times, I remember us driving around and going to the firework stands and him letting me pick out what seemed to me to be A LOT of fireworks. Then us going back to his townhouse and watching him bustle around the grill on the back porch and in the kitchen prepping the meat about to go on the grill. I recall a few of his close friends or girlfriend being there and then as the night grew dark my dad lighting the fireworks. I would beg and plead for him to let me light some but he was always cautious about my safety, but of course he’d pull out the sparklers and that always made me happy.

Honestly, I have no other memories of celebrating the 4th from my childhood. I find that a little bit strange. I’m not sure why, but it kind of bothers me. I guess because around the time I turned 13 my mom sent me to live with my dad and after about 8 months I went back to my mother. And after that, my dad pretty much stopped all contact with me. I only saw him once after that while I was a teen and have only seen him maybe 3 times for less than an hour each time since then. My life probably would have been A LOT better and completely DIFFERENT had I just stayed there with him. But what did I know, I was a 13 yr old who had been abused and felt terrified of change!

Anyhow, the other thing I found myself reflecting on was the music that was playing during this years display; “Star Spangled Banner” well at least the first song and truly the only one I actually heard. Anyway, it’s funny because as I was growing up I remember having so much love, respect and PRIDE in our country! I know 100% what the 4th is a celebration of. Growing up my “step-dad” was Air-force and then I married a Sailor, even though I SHOULD have joined the Air-force instead, but I digress! I love and respect our soldiers! If it weren’t for them we would not have the precious freedoms we have and enjoy today. The very ones our government is slowly stripping us of but again, another story.

As the Star Spangled Banner played, tears started to well up in my eyes. Partly because I AM proud and thankful, because I know that this is a great country. Despite the pitiful  excuses for human beings we have elected that are desecrating our constitution ever so slowly with the help of the  unwitting AND witting!  Because I do know and understand there are still countries whose people would give anything to have half the luxuries that we take for granted every day! Because I see things the way they truly are, without the rose colored glasses. Because I truly am the 99%, because I wasn’t born with a silver spoon or a rich daddy or a trust-fund! Instead I was born to an immigrant mother who came here with a dream, and a dad who checked out when I needed a dad the most. And now, I have 2 grown sons, 2 near grown daughters and my Ej….

Who also don’t have any of the aforementioned luxuries that 2% of Americans have, I am disabled by Rheumatoid Arthritis, I fight it as best as I can. It’s always seemed that I’ve had this black cloud that just follows me where ever I go, it doesn’t matter how good of a person I am, it doesn’t matter that I have a heart of gold, that I’d give my last to save someone else. It doesn’t matter that even through all the crappy things that have happened in my life I didn’t end up a drug addict/prostitute/murderer or what have you. I did the complete opposite, I didn’t do drugs, kill people or rob banks! I went to school and tried to raise my children, to be good loving, productive, respectful PEOPLE! But tonight, I found myself reflecting on… “what will they get”? “what will they inherit”? “what will their children inherit”?…..”if everyone just keeps on this path of blame the other guy” and “micromanage our neighbor” attitudes, dear heavens what will they get? I can tell you, I’m terrified of the answers that come to mind. I don’t know what I can do to change any of it, but I can do something to help change it or at least die trying! But that’s what I came to conclude this 4th of July, that I do love my freedoms and my children’s FUTURES enough to want to DO something to help make a difference! I hope you do too!

Happy 4th  and a HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL OUR SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN out there! I love you all and respect you for giving so much for those of us who you have and will probably never met! And of course to those that have lost their lives fighting for us and their loved ones as well! You are missed and loved! ❤

Love, peace and Freedom!

Good Night…..

Mari