A grand long weekend of Canada Day celebrations yields its place to a grand long weekend of birthday festivities for our neighbour to the south. So no moaning this day. Instead let's encourage each other onward in the great adventure called democracy. However vexing, frustrating and beleaguered it may be, it surely beats the alternative.
"With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world."
Desiderata - Max Ehrmann c. 1920
|Mom in 1921|
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 her 89 years as an American citizen.
|Mom in 2004|
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 supply of 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. Good thing that flag never went missing!
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 1963 - Rockefeller Center, NYC|
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 not only an operatic debut at Carnegie Hall but a tour with the Boston Pops. It is grand to live in one's dreams.
|Mom - Christmas 1999|
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.
See ya on the beach!
|Mom 1957, The Beach at Breezy Point, NY|
©2016 April Hoeller