Hope you and yours had a wonderful 4th of July weekend! In our part of the country, it was cloudy and rainy for most of Friday and Saturday. Yesterday, however it was positively gorgeous!
I almost missed a sweet blessing the morning of 4th of July. I had stayed up (very) late the night before knowing that I could "sleep in" because of the holiday. My hubby had gone to bed several hours before, and I knew he would be up early (because he always is). = )
We live on the main road that runs through our community. Every year on the morning of July 4th, there is a 5K run that passes right in front of our house. Several hundred people, from babies in strollers to grandparents take part. Some years, we’ve had friends who have run and we’ve cheered them on as they ran by. This year, we didn’t know of anyone running, and I remember thinking as I drifted off to sleep, "I might have to miss seeing the marathon runners this year..."
The next thing I knew (just a few hours later), my sweet hubby was standing at the foot of the bed smiling, asking if I wanted to watch the runners. I can’t express to you just how much I wanted to return to the blissful sleep I was enjoying, but I could tell he really wanted me to come out with him. I could also tell he was anxious, as some of the first runners had already passed by. And so…I stumbled out of bed (completely in a fog), changed out of my pajamas into some clothes, ran a brush through my hair and splashed my face with cool water. (Ugh…still in a fog.) I put my “sweet” face on, but inside there was a whole lot of grumbling going on.
As I opened the door, I saw that my hubby had lined our mulch beds with small American flags...it looked great! Then I heard loud patriotic music playing and discovered it was coming from our speakers. I quickly realized my hubby was playing this music especially for the runners. (heart smile) He was standing in our garage, grinning from ear-to-ear as it played. There was a light rain falling and I felt bad for those trying to run...but as I looked at them, they didn’t seem to mind. They were too busy enjoying the music. From God Bless America, Battle Hymn or America the Beautiful, you could see them start to smile as soon as they heard it...many were even singing along! I got a kick out of one man acting as though he was conducting an orchestra as he ran.
Our house sits at about the 4 mile mark of the run. After living here and watching this for several years now, we had grown accustomed to seeing people who are tired, hot, focused, and generally not looking especially "happy." In fact, they rarely make eye contact. (I'm not a runner, but I can certainly understand that.) This time, nearly everyone was smiling. Over and over, they yelled out “Thanks!” as they waved or gave a thumbs up. It was especially heartwarming to see the older people as they sang and smiled. Yes, the patriotic spirit of America was alive and well for those moments and it was quite a sight to behold. In no time at all, tears filled my sleepy eyes and a lump filled my throat. This went on for quite some time and we savored every moment of it.
Afterwards, I thanked my hubby for waking me. What I would have missed, had I kept on sleeping! I then whispered a prayer of thanks to God for what I had just seen, the great nation we all share, and the freedom we are privileged to celebrate, not just on the 4th of July but every day.