Independence Day: Mama Musings

Today’s guest post is by Erin Jennings, my wonderful friend and mom of a military serviceman. Thank you for sharing your musings with us this Independence Day, Erin.

For me, Independence Day, or the Fourth of July, is a reminder of the weight of our liberty.

A couple of centuries back, colonists felt deeply about their freedom from authoritarianism and were ready to fight for its dissolution. Independence Day reminds us of the blessing of liberty and our commitment to manage and preserve it.

The Fourth of July is special for those of us who have military members serving past the extraordinary ability provided to be free. While we still honor our independence, that independence can’t get severed mentally from the price paid by those who serve daily.

Being a military mom, however, comes with a unique set of challenges. Isn’t one of the core responsibilities of a mother to ensure her child’s safety? Can this be done when that “child” is halfway across the world, training or fighting for our liberties as Americans?

Erin with her sisters & son

My son left for basic training two weeks after his high school graduation. Before that time, he hadn’t spent many days away from home, and I can’t remember when I couldn’t pick up the phone and call him if I wanted. The transition from a “regular mom” to a “military mom” was in full swing, and while he was going through changes and trials of his own, I was discovering how to be a mother from afar.

Not only did these trials shape my son into a beautiful God-fearing man, but they also helped to teach me the importance of such holidays as The Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day… holidays I hadn’t grasped prior. The first year celebrating the Fourth of July without him was more of a sad occasion than years past. I wondered if I had lost the spirit of the holiday… or had I found what it was about and, in turn, awakening a new sense of how far some go to secure our freedoms?

These holidays are not just for the barbecues, spending time with family, or having time away from work. These holidays are celebrated and sacred to remember these men and women who have left their mothers, fathers, wives, and husbands behind to go to places they have never been and fight for people they will never meet. They do this in the interest of everyone else.

I invite all of us to stop on July 4th and say a prayer for all service members.

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