I need to go back in time to explain this past week. I was raised by a non-practicing Catholic. We celebrated Christmas, Easter, St. Patrick's Day, and St. Valentine's Day, although I believed we celebrated the holidays much like a secular person would and focused much on self and gifts, fun and enjoyment.
Bill was raised by non-practicing Catholics too. He was exposed to the Mormon church while young, but in all seriousness holidays weren't religious in his home either.
When we married we began celebrating our anniversaries. I never knew how important I thought this day was until the year Bill was gone without having military orders that took him away. He was a police officer and on a fairly simple call (he thought), he and many other officers uncovered a large narcotics operation. This took him from the evening of the 26th to the evening of the 28th. He called late on the 26th but did not call at all on our anniversary. First I was a bit mad. Then I was furious. Then I was hurt. Funny, a simple housewife in the middle of nowhere placing such importance on such a day. By the way, as a cop's wife, situations happen all the time that change what most families consider a normal schedule. I was not unappreciative of the importance of his job, or how important he treated me EVERY other day of the year. Instead, I realized that I valued the day that Bill and I became one, and now all these many years after that missed anniversary, I can truly say, that because of our marriage, we will celebrate marriages of our children and someday down the road, or maybe even soon, we will celebrate the births of our grandchildren. Our anniversary should be recognized each year as it speaks volumes.
Back a bit to my meandering to get to my point. Bill and I became Christians a while after we were married. We did not begin our family devoting our children to the Lord, but we did try and instill good morals. Our homeschool motto (yes we had a motto, mascot, school colors and name) was 'Honest and true in all that you do.' I really believed that then and more so now. Of course, none of us are perfect and kids are kids, if you know what I mean, but that was our goal or standard we set. We celebrated Christmas and I did try and tell the children that it was a holiday about baby Jesus and I even told them that Santa was a servant of God's. Now before you rush to the comments, I was not a Christian. I embraced tradition and thought little of that special secret about Santa. I was taught about Santa, and therefore I taught my children about Santa. I never questioned this, and until about 2005 when my older sister told me she hated that she was lied to about Santa and decided she would not lie to her kids, so she never told them a lie about him. 2005 was a pretty arduous year for our family, actually all the way until 2007. We were dealing with Bill's recovery and limitations after his accident and as a stay home wife, I was trying very hard to be supportive and not revealing how much this spun my world out of kilter too. This is not to be hard but a reality blog, with my flaws to be shared as well as my good points. I am certain the path to going completely gray began on January 1, 2005. I am getting sidetracked here and there and may make this a two or three part series, I hope you don't mind, as I have a point that needs a good foundation.
When we moved to New Mexico, I confess I fell in love with the beauty, the people, and the small town feel. We purposely selected a place near a military installation, with at least a college or university branch, a mall, and a grocery as our previous home had NONE of these! Our first Christmas we took the family to the Christmas parade and I confess I was choked up to hear so many people on the floats saying "Merry Christmas" as well as so many in the crowd responding in like. I felt like we made a good fit in this community that was around 35,000 people but still maintained small town America.
At some point, in 2005 or 2006 one of my other sister's told me something that completely rocked my foundation and actually changed the direction and focus of my life.
"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005
You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."