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An American Mom

By JeanAnn Taylor

As I write this piece, it is a stormy, March morning. We are isolated in our homes while we wait for this latest virus to dissipate. Although the daffodils and cherry trees are blooming, the world seems to be quite the dismal place right now.

I have to admit, it’s easy to let myself feel depressed about the state of our country and the world; the unknown aspects and repercussions seem too big to process. The only way I know how to stay positive is to remember what I have to be grateful for—which is a lot. I also need to remember that we can, individually and collectively, come out of this stronger and better.

There are two important holidays in May: Mother’s Day and Armed Forces Day. Both celebrations have great meaning for me. First, nothing compares to the honor and love of motherhood. Now, my “babies” are grown adults with careers and lives apart from me.

My daughter works at a prestigious university in Pennsylvania and my son is in the United States Air Force. I’m so proud of them, and happy they found the careers they were called to. Although there is distance, nothing can separate the relationships we share. I’m thankful to be their mom.

Armed Forces Day began on May 20, 1950, when President Truman declared this day as a way for citizens to unite and honor their military heroes. In 1961, President Kennedy declared Armed Forces Day to be a national holiday celebrated on the third Saturday of each May, which will be May 16, 2020. I’m thankful to live in a country that honors those who protect us.

Even though there are and always will be inequalities, people in America are generally regarded with respect, no matter their income, race, or social status. America, more than any other country has campaigned against the evils of discrimination.

Our healthy culture allows us to live active, adventurous lives. We have the gift of choice—our fate is not defined for us. We can choose to stay where we were born or venture off to far away lands. We can choose to work as an accountant or farmer or painter or florist. We have the freedom to worship as we believe without persecution. For all these reasons and many more, I’m thankful to live in America.

At this point, it is unclear whether there will be gatherings, parades, or even church services where we can come together to celebrate Mother’s Day, Armed Forces Day or . . . anything. We may have to settle for FaceTime this Mother’s Day.

What we can do is take care of ourselves so that when this nightmare is over, we’ll be healthy and ready to replenish the deficit of hugs. To celebrate and show our support for our military on Armed Forces Day, we can fly our American flag on the front porch and send care packages to those who are deployed.

I’m an American mom. In many ways there is nothing particularly special about me. I strive to do the right thing. I take care of myself and those whom I love. I eat healthy foods, exercise daily, and don’t smoke.

I keep my house organized and clean. I work exceptionally hard to meet my goals and aspirations. My life is pretty simple really. But in many ways, my life is exceptionally blessed—because I’m a mom who lives in America.


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