I’m sitting here with my mother-in-law, my children, nieces and nephew at the Memorial Day parade in Bridesburg in Philadelphia. My mother-in-law grew up on the block that we are sitting on. Since I first met my husband at age 18, I have been coming here. We would have breakfast at my husband’s grandparents house and excitedly wait for the Mummers to march up the street in the parade, and wave to the Mayor. I have fond memories of this event over the past 23 years. Over those years, I got married, I watched nieces and nephews enter the world and grow up, I had children of my own and said goodbye to his grandparents and many other loved ones. In short, I built a beautiful life. Even though “we” no longer have a house here in Bridesburg, we still come to honor our servicemen and women and enjoy this lovely parade, and share this tradition with our next generation.As I sit here this year, just a visitor, I look around at all the people who currently live here, bringing their lawn chairs out their front door, eating, enjoying time with family. We walked through the graveyard in the neighborhood, and I am thinking about the cycle of life. When my grandparents-in-law lived here, and I was much younger, I took it for granted that that was how life was, how it would always be. Now, with years and wisdom, I fully understand how things change and evolve. There are many seasons of life; some more pleasant, some less so. But change is the one constant that we can always count on.It puts life into a larger perspective. The things we worry about in our everyday lives are usually not that big. We tend to obsess over the smallest details of what isn’t working or what we didn’t do right. Meanwhile, the clock keeps ticking and our lives move on. But if we are not careful, they move on without us noticing. So my plan for this day, and my encouragement to you is to take a moment, today and everyday, to stop and notice your life. Really notice it. Look around. See all the many blessings that have been given to you. And feel the true contentment of all that you have instead of all that you don’t.
Happy Memorial Day to you and may you truly enjoy this lovely day and feel grateful to the men and women who fought to give us the freedoms that we are so fortunate to enjoy.