July 11, 2006 2:05 am
I had originally planned to post something on the 4th of July, but that day came and passed with little time. So, a week later, I thought I would post it less as an Independence Day item and more of just a general item.
I am currently out of the county - have been for about two months, with another two months to go. In my day to day life, I tried to be appreciative of people and things, but this has given me a perspective that I didn’t have. There are four or five of us that work together, and on the 4th, we were all down. We missed our families, and we missed our country. We didn’t see any fireworks, no parades with American flags, no concerts, no cookouts, no little kids in cute, patriotic outfits.
I’m not looking for pity - I’m doing what I swore an oath to do, and am fortunate to have not had to do it before now. What I am saying, though, is to stop and think about the familiar things in your life. Do you hug or kiss your spouse before or after work? Do your kids shout “Daddy!” and come running to you, and almost knock you over because they’re happy that you’re home? Do you get to sit down at a table with your family and eat? Do you wear a t-shirt that has the American flag on it? Do you pick up the phone and call your friends? Do you go to church with your family on Sunday mornings?
These are all things that I would be doing this summer, were I still at home. And, they’re also some of the things that I’m missing (though there are many, many other things as well). So, for my sake - make that hug or kiss count. Fall over and roll around in the floor and tickle those kids. Talk to those people sitting around the dinner table with you, and thank the Lord that you can display or even wear the flag without making yourself a target. Go to church, hang out with your friends, go to the grocery store, mow the grass, take a walk with your family - then ask yourself how you might feel if you could not do those things. I can tell you how I feel - it’s not good, and it’s the reason I’m taking the time to post this here.
Carpe diem is not just for intellectuals or party-hearty-ers. Enjoy the people in your life, and the things with which you have been blessed. Take that little extra time to take in the things you enjoy, and let the people who mean the most to you know that. You never know when you may not have the chance again.