“Christmas had been a tricky day. That’s what Emily, Meghan, and I had begun calling those days filled with both celebrating and grieving. They were days of gratefulness and emptiness. Days to cherish rituals while establishing new traditions.”  Pieces Falling:navigating 9/11 with Faith, Family and the FDNY.”

This year the 4th of July feels like a tricky day. A day filled with celebrating but grieving – America’s birthday but oh, my what is happening. A day to be grateful for my freedoms but feeling empty for what has been lost – civility, children’s lives, women’s rights, so many lives due to covid, so many jobs, working for the greater good instead of reelection.

Part of me feels America doesn’t deserve a birthday party this year. You know how your mom would threaten no birthday celebration if you didn’t get your act together but part of you knew she would do something for you because she loved you. She wouldn’t aid and abet bad behavior but she wasn’t going to throw you under the bus at least you thought she won’t . Well, that’s how I feel about 4th of July this year.

I. Can’t. Even. has been my mantra the past few years because I. Can’t. Even. but maybe I need to mix that up to Can’t. Even. I make a difference, Can’t. Even. I do one little thing. Can’t Even. I show compassion. Can’t. Even. I use my resources for change.

Seven years ago I posted the following on FB: “Happy Birthday, America! In the coming year may “we” work to ensure that the hungry are feed, the homeless are sheltered, the sick receive treatment, the children are educated, the unemployed have a job and that life, liberty and pursuit of happiness is a closer reality for at least one more person than it is today.” This is still my hope and prayer.