Well. Good morning. Here I am the day after the 4th of July -Independence Day. This day holds special meaning for me every year because what it represents.
In the United States, this date commemorates the adoption of the Declararion of Independence on July 4, 1776 by the Continental Congress making a declaration that the 13 colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, and no longer part of the British empire. They declared themselves as The United States of America.
I have always associated this time of celebration as a time to remember all that was accomplished during that era. I also associate this time with fireworks, freedom, grilled food, potato salad, red white and blue clothing or apparel, picnics, and giving focused homage to our flag.
Well, each year since the wreck has been a bit different for me around this holiday.
In Jul 2014 I was at home in a hospital bed after 3 months in the hospital….so…6 months post wreck and all I really remember from that time is lots of sleeping, lots of pain, and the last time we were together as a whole family with almost all the kids….and did I mention LOTS of pain and not being able to breathe well. It was a rough time. Just the sound of fireworks scared me. Suddenly my beloved holiday was somehow tarnished and I had been forced beyond my control in losing my Independence.
July 2015 I forced myself to go see fireworks with the family…mostly for the kids’ sake. This ultimately was great for the kids, but I paid dearly for it with my health. I did not react well internally with ALL the people….it was too crowded, it was too noisy, and the loud exploding booms which I had for my whole life associated with happiness….now frightened me at a core level. I was hurting, it was hard to “look up” and I literally was biding my time in anticipation of getting back home where it was quiet (at least in my room) and safe.
July 2016. I have learned my limits and am learning that even some of our family traditions have changed in some ways as part of our family’s new normals as well. This year…I decided to stay home. Away from the crowds, the noise, just everything. I don’t regret it and was glad to hear about the crowd craziness I missed. Next year.. I can try again.
I survived 3 pretty intense orthopedic reconstructive surgeries in the last 6 months. I feel like I have been given a very special gift….Independence. So my rehabilitation journey continues and I am learning to say no thanks on behalf of me…
So for all of you out there struggling to get through each day….for all your mini accomplishments and for each breath you are able to take…..take care of your health…even if it means breaking traditions or doing them differently. You are a new nation with your new normals….
Happy Independence Day!!!