Miles run today: 4.5
Temperature when I got back from my run: 89
Peach pies made and eaten yesterday: 1
My parents used to torture us by taking us to pick blueberries on the Fourth of July.
Place I wanted to be on the Fourth of July: the pool. With my friends. In water.
Place my parents wanted to be: in a field in the 95-degree sun. Picking fruit that I didn’t even like.
So guess where I’m taking my kids tomorrow? Yep. To pick blueberries. In the hot sun. Maybe they’ll love it and have warm and fuzzy memories about their cool mom. Or not.
I discovered long ago that I’m exactly as tough as I need to be and not a bit tougher than that. I’m reading the Bear Grylls biography right now, “Mud, Sweat and Tears,” and his account of being a recruit for the SAS Reserves (something like our Green Berets) has made me realize I would flunk out on the first day.
If the instructors had me wake up at 4 a.m. and weigh my 55-pound pack, then told me I had to run over mountains with said pack for 20 miles, then turn around and come back, I would laugh. I would look around for a candid camera and hope the ice cream truck would pull up nearby to rescue me. For people like Bear, it made him try harder. Bless his heart.
For my job, I have interviewed several servicemen and women as well as some military spouses. One little girl in our area is collecting letters to send to soldiers. Her goal is to collect and send over a million letters. For the Fourth of July, I wanted to share some thoughts in an open letter.
Dear United States Armed Forces Member:
When I was younger, the thought of signing up for any military assignment sounded both frightening and overwhelming. The mental and physical toughness you exhibited simply by signing up is admirable. To stick with it through difficult overseas deployments blows my mind.
As I have gotten older and read accounts of war and sacrifice throughout our nation’s history, I realize that people like you have ensured that people like me can keep on keeping on.
If we want to pick blueberries in the hot sun on the Fourth of July, we can. If we want to spend three months hiking the Appalachian Trail, we can. Or if we want to toil away at a computer in our comfy little homes while you are patroling in dangerous war zones, you make every single mundane thing possible.
Spouses and family members of servicemen and women: thank you for all of the sacrifices you make and lonely days and nights you spend away from your child/husband/wife/mother/father. I now understand more about how important that person is to me personally and to our nation.
When you have to cut the grass, pay the bills and figure out childcare while your spouse is deployed for several months at a time, please know that I appreciate you. When you have to Skype your child in a hot place overseas and wonder if they are okay as you watch the news each morning, please know that I appreciate you.
Today is Independence Day, not Memorial Day. But I know that we are able to celebrate with splashy fireworks and corn-on-the-cob today because of you.
When I hear the fireworks outside and see people celebrating in red-white-and-blue, I will be thinking of all the people who make this day possible each year.