NORMAN — I can’t say I’m a big fan of fireworks and hot days. In fact, loud noises and the heat were usually good reasons as a kid I would hide out in my bedroom every Independence Day.
My mother would always have to coax me out of my room with promises of homemade ice cream and a fresh cooked hamburger from the grill. It worked then, and quiet honestly, it would work now.
Fireworks are beautiful and the fact that they represent our freedom is even more beautiful. I end up a bit tearful every July 4th. Never fails. Something about Lee Greenwood singing “God Bless the U.S.A.” will get me every time. In fact, a quick online search to the lyrics even got me a little bit emotional.
It was nine years ago this weekend that my July 4th celebrating took a different, more happier turn. I might have mentioned this story before, and this is the less dramatic, condensed version of it, but nine years ago on July 4th I was reunited with my now husband.
It’s a funny story really, we had dated on and off for a few months when I decided I’d had enough. Things were just not going well. I was too pushy and he just wouldn’t fall in line. A problem we still have, but we somehow have managed to meet in the middle.
I moved on until about five years after the fact. For some reason I kept thinking about that boy I’d left in Oklahoma. By now I had moved on so far that I was in another state. But I kept thinking about him. So, out of the blue, one night I picked up the phone and hoped he still resided at the same number I had found on the Internet. He answered, and I immediately hung up the phone. I don’t know why and he’s asked me a million times before what happened. I still have no answer.
I did, obviously, call him right back. And we talked again on the phone the next night. The night after that and so on and so on. We talked so much, that I’m sure its the reason that unlimited calling plans were invented.
But then I did something I’m still surprised I did. I bought him a plane ticket to come see me. Again, not sure why I felt compelled to do that, but I’m sure glad I did. If I’m really going to be honest here, I’d have to say I wasn’t sure if he was really going to show up. But he did. Thank goodness.
Now the July 4th holiday takes on a different meaning. It’s not all about the ice cream and the hamburgers. It’s more about the fact that, for whatever reason, I picked up the phone one night and dialed seven numbers. Twice. It’s about the fact that for the last nine years, I’ve spent laughing, crying, celebrating and, at times, yelling with my best friend. I’m not sure I’ll ever know why God put him in my life. And I’m almost certain I don’t deserve him. But I’m not going to send him back now. Because like Lee Greenwood sang, I’m thanking my lucky stars.