Friday, 4 July 2014

Thursday???, or Thereabouts... July 4, 2014

Caught up in the Rapture

So what happened to Thursday? Did it spiral down some drain hole? Did it get smashed by a Wimbledon backhand? Was it headed out of the week by a World Cup striker? Actually it just slipped right past my radar, caught up in the rapture between two great national birthdays, Canada Day and US Independence Day.

Today's post falls into the "or Thereabouts" category. And in tribute to my American family and friends I offer this post from a year ago, with some alterations:

Our big sister to the south celebrates her 238th birthday today. Happy Birthday, Sis!

Mom, January 2004

My mother was born in Massachusetts in 1921 and grew up in Connecticut. She loved her homeland all her life, treasured her US passport and never let it go - much to my father's chagrin. He wanted her to adopt Canada, and though she lived here from their wedding day in 1944 until the day she died in 2010 some 66 years later, she spent every one of those years as an American citizen.
Dementia took many things from my Mom but not her national identity and pride. In fact these became the certainties in her day. She wore the Stars & Stripes over her heart. More than a few times during her years in long term care, the precious pin went missing and then there was hell to pay. Mom would get so upset that we soon learned to have a few spare pins in reserve, ready to 'sub in' for the lost one.

"Hey Mom I found it! Here's your flag."
Eyes filled with tears, "Please pin it on me, dear." Relief flooded her face. She looked so grateful, so profoundly happy and 'at home'. The door of her room at the nursing home sported "Old Glory" too. Fortunately that flag never went missing!

Mom, August 1963

We made a big deal out of "The 4th" during the latter years; cup cakes festooned with red, white and blue,
balloons and stories, lots of stories from Mom's childhood years. The staff at the home, God bless 'em, made the day special for her too. One staff member always called Mom, "Miss America" and sometimes "Miss New York. Mom may have been raised in Connecticut, but she was a New York City kind of gal, at times laying claim to apartments in the Empire State Building and Tower #1 of World Trade Center, and an operatic debut at Carnegie Hall. It is grand to live in one's dreams.

So a very Happy Birthday to my mother's homeland. Thank you for being the land of her birth and worthy of her hopes and dreams all her life.
And yes, God Bless America!

text and personal photos ©2014 April Hoeller

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