Today I get to spend my 2nd Memorial Day as a mom, and since I’m not recovering from a C-section this time I have a much clearer, pain-killer-free mind. Today, I couldn’t feel more grateful for all the sacrifices our servicemen and women have given which allow me the freedom to just sit in total peace. To sit in an Adirondack chair on my sunny porch and deadhead my flowers while I watch my son ride around on the lawnmower with daddy. To reach over and scratch my Great Dane’s ear while he lays next to me lazily on the porch. To know that I have the freedom to go to the office today if I want, or not, if I choose not to. These are freedoms I don’t take for granted, but do I fully grasp their significance?

Bill read me part of an article last night from his news feed on his phone, about more than 700 Libyan refugees who are feared to have drowned while trying to cross the sea to freedom. To freedom. How many of those refugees are moms, I wonder? How many of the ones who didn’t make it to freedom, would have been moms someday if they had?

I don’t have to worry about loading my baby and a backpack of possessions into a boat headed for freedom, I simply wake up free each morning, by the grace of God. Because my stars said that I would be born in Montana, in the good old US of A. Why am I so lucky and so many Libyans and Syrians these days, so unlucky?

I am so blessed to have the honor of living in this country. I need to be more mindful of the fact that it truly is an honor. Even when I may not have a clue who to vote for in an election, or be thrilled about paying those darn estimated income taxes on June 15th; those are still privileges I will think differently about from now on. I am certain, that any one of the Libyans on that boat would have been damn happy to trade places with me, and pay those income taxes, because it means I have a job in a free country. And that I have a say in who our next president will be, even if I haven’t figured out yet what that say will be.

I will think harder about encouraging our boys to consider the military for careers, (if professional baseball doesn’t work out, of course.) I will pay closer attention when my sweet Grandpa Gil tells us stories about joining the Navy at 16. And I will be shaking more hands and thanking more soldiers when I see them out and about. To say thanks, for my freedom to sit and drink this coffee in peace. And especially, for Hank’s freedom. To know that my son will have every freedom that I have, and that he will get to grow up in this land of opportunity, is a huge blessing. To know that he will not have to run, like so many others are doing from their countries-or float away from home on a crowded boat-to try to find what we have here. In the land of the free. America, God bless you! And I send up a heartfelt thank you, to every one of you who so selflessly gave your lives to keep it free for all of us lucky Americans.

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