My grandparents wanted to get married on the 4th of July. They planned to meet early in the morning, take the train to International Falls (MN), and find a justice of the peace who would marry them. They slept late, missed the train, and ended up getting married on July 5.
That was the story I was told when I was a kid. Is it true? I don’t know. It’s an interesting story. What is true is that for quite a few people in the USA the usual 4th of July celebrations won’t happen. No parade. No large gathering. No fireworks show. No concert.
How am I reacting to this? I am thinking about what I will feel like on the 5th of July. Because I am still taking the coronavirus threat seriously, I’m respecting the limitations placed on me as a citizen of NYState. I want to be alive and well on July 5 and the following days of summer. I am willing to postpone a big celebration today so I can celebrate later on with even more joy. Aren’t you?
During the last years of her life on this earth, my sister endured many limitations. Her eyesight faded. Her hearing diminished. Her muscles weakened. Her steps faltered. Her speech became muffled. Her internal organs did not work properly. NOT a pretty picture! Still, as long as she was able, almost to the end of her life, she celebrated her faith in Jesus and love for me by attempting to sing with me when she heard my voice. She always wanted to hear me when her daughter said, “Your sister’s calling.” She did not become bitter. As long as she was able to, she said, “Thank you.”
My sister is not here. I cannot call her on this 4th of July. She has been reunited with her soldier sweetheart in heaven. The celebration there is far beyond my imagination. Someday, I will join her there. Knowing that a fantastic celebration is ahead of me, I can put up with quite a few limitations and restrictions here. Can’t you?
As my sister would say, and as she and I sang together, “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus.”
I wrote the following poem a few days after my sister’s funeral.
With Jesus for Eternity This world is filled with pain and tears It all will change when Christ appears Yet those who live ‘neath Jesus reign Are filled with joy, despite their pain His gentle Spirit calms their fear And they advance his kingdom here How blessed are those who live this truth And have embraced it from their youth Though they may have no earthly fame God hears their prayer “in Jesus’ name” And blesses them in countless ways For which they always give him praise When their work on earth is complete He calls them home; at last they meet The ONE they were created for That’s all they want. There’s nothing more There’s nothing greater than to be With Jesus for eternity 6/14/2020 Jane Ault