Several people have asked me if I packed for our trip yet and the answer is, "of course, not!" But, I have been thinking so much about this holiday and about the state of all the things.
I know that some people in my network had a hard time observing this day. The fact you can have a public hard time observing this day is the very reason why July 4th is so important. Today is all your choice--and how you move forward is your choice as well.
I know now is the time that someone might want to slip in something about a woman's choice being removed; but this blog is not about that debate. This blog is about the choices we make in how we move forward in a world that is often out of our control.
My grandmother and her family immigrated from Denmark. Nana was the only one of her siblings born in the United States; the other three were born in Denmark. It was particularly important to her parents that she was their "American" daughter. My father's family came from England. I asked my Dad why they came here and he always shrugged and said, "well a better life, of course."
I thought of my ancestors tonight--in particular all my grandmothers and great grandmothers and aunts and great aunts who forged a way here. What would they think about the current state of things? Would they feel like they shouldn't celebrate today? Would they, instead, observe today, without the fun? Did they have much choice in the decision to immigrate here?
I really don't know and I have no idea what they would think. But, I do know, that they were all compelled to come here, to this country, whether by a father or a husband or their own desires . I don't think any of my ancestors had it bad in Denmark or England; I think they simply wanted something different. They all made choices that landed them here--and then in turn, landed me here.
And this country is so far from perfect; but I don't really believe it is totally broken; and as I listen to cries of the side I think I most identify with, those cries sound an awful like the cries of the side I do not. It leaves me mentally in a funny place--I am neither side. It is not that I superior in anyway, it is just that I am not entirely either choice.
All of this consideration of sides and opinions and how to observe a national holiday feels so distinctly American.
I am blessed to an American citizen. I am blessed to have the power to fight for the things I believe in without fear of my family being harmed. It is not perfect; but it is something that I can help make better, right after I pack for my vacation, of course.