Most people have fond memories of the fourth of July; fireworks, picnics and a day off with family. Retailers do brisk sales for this rare mid year holiday.
I wish I could be more excited about it, but July 4th hasnĎt been one of those highly anticipated days for me. You see, it was on the morning of the fourth of July when I woke to the news that my pet goldfish, Leon, had expired sometime during the night. I blame myself really - If I had just been willing to spend some quality time with Leon, perhaps things might have been different, but I ignored him. I should have recognized his plea for help - and food. He just looked at me all day and smacked his lips - DROVE ME BATTY.
It was that same day when mom had mentioned that we would be having hot dogs on the barbeque. Now I love hot dogs. I like the kind that plump when you cook Ďem. I like the kind that fit perfectly in an oversize bun, I like the ones with just a hint of garlic, but mom picked the ones with no garlic, no Ďplumpí, they really didnít fit in the bun very well and they smelled sort of like week old sun-ripened bologna.
Iím learning to forgive.
Each July when day four rolls around I find myself weeping as I remember Lucy. It was on this day that she left and never came back. Sometimes I wake at night and find myself thinking of Lucy. She was a good albino squirrel, and well behaved - accept for that one instance with the mailman, but then he really was a Ďtaunterí and perhaps had invited the ear piercing.
There have been so many negative things that have happened to me on the fourth of July. Sometimes I think itís a conspiracy; a key breaks off in the lock of my 1973 El Camino, someone threw a fire cracker in my ear canal, there are things routinely bursting in air, our chickens laid scrambled eggs, and there were moments when it rained uncontrollably for upwards of 15 minutes at a time.
I was supposed to be born on the fourth of July, but nooooooooo. My darling mother had to wait until the end of the month. Who gave that doctor his license anyway? He was off by more than three weeks. Didnít he have a grasp on mathematical computations? Iím minding my own business and down comes a dose of castor oil. Man, thatís nasty stuff. Dad took mom for a ride over a washboard road in a 1950 something Studebaker pickup trying to dislodge me from the comforts of womb. Hey, I thought it was just my first time on the trampoline. I donít think mom liked my double flip half ganor.
Twenty seven days later I was still camping out waiting for my first issue of Highlights, but frankly I was a bit miffed at all the odd things I was being subjected to so I decided itís time to come out and lodge a complaint with someone. IíD HAD ENOUGH! Problem was, the doctor was on the golf course and I was interfering with his round. The nurses gave mom almost 20 different shots trying to keep me in solitary confinement. Talk about your mixed messages. I was coming whether the doctor liked it or not. It had my own surprise birthday party.
I should have known this was going to be a bad start. My older sister took one look at me and asked mom and dad if there was anyway they could take me back and trade me for something new. Hey, I didnít see her gagging on castor oil or flipping over some country tune in a Studebaker - in the dark.
July 4th always reminds me that Iím just not normal.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! I canít even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me! (Psalm 139:15-18 - NLT)
Maybe normal is overrated.
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