My grandparents were immigrants from Germany. Their story is interesting in that my Grandfather first came to America at age 17. Before he came while living in Germany, all 17-year-old boys were told they had to go into the military. The German family tradition was that the oldest boy in the family inherited the farm and my Grandfather was not the oldest boy. It was for these reasons that my Grandfather decided to come to America.
He immigrated to Cheney, Kansas, where he worked for room and board the first year. In 1909 he bought and settled on a farm west of Alva, Oklahoma. He had to live in a granary because the people in the house had scarlet fever when he came to move in, so he waited until they were over their illness. Then he returned to Germany to bring his bride back to America with him. While there the military tried to force him to join; he had papers to prove that he was an American, so they let him go. He and my Grandmother were courageous, hard-working, brave and religious.
They went through all of the legal requirements to become citizens of this country. From New York City to Cheney, Kansas, then to Alva was quite a journey in those days. He and my Grandmother lived in Alva all their lives, farmed, and raised a family of two boys and two girls in freedom. They went to church every Sunday and gave thanks for all the blessings of their lives. They never forgot or stopped going to church until they were no longer physically able to attend. Spirit guided them each step of the way to a life of freedom and gratitude.
During Hitler’s reign of terror, the family regularly sent boxes of necessities the relatives in Germany needed. Letters received were read aloud to the family during Sunday gatherings recounting Hitler’s atrocities to our German relatives, their Jewish friends and neighbors, and spoke of the fear they lived with. The letters would ask for whatever was needed to be sent in the next box. Gratitude for every little and big thing was imprinted on me at an early age, as was not taking anything, especially freedom, for granted.
My parents and grandparents spoke often of the value and great gift and cost of freedom. My Father prayed that we never have to experience what our relatives in Germany did, that we have no war in our country or any country, and that we be vigilant about our freedom and the democracy we have in the United States. This made a lasting impression on me of the importance of freedom.
It made me stay aware of what is going on in the world, of how our country is interacting with other countries and within itself, of what laws are being passed with or without the vote of the people, of the changes in the honesty and ethics of all levels of leaders, of the changes in the people’s conduct, the direction society is moving, and so forth. It made me cherish the great privilege of voting and of the freedom to write letters, emails, sign petitions, or make calls when I want to request change.
It made me aware that it is my privilege to do my part to keep this freedom.
It made me aware that it is a spiritual privilege to pray and send pure Divine Light to those who are not free.
It made me aware that every breath I take is free and so precious to me.
So, I celebrate the 4th of July with a prayer of gratitude to Spirit that I live in a free country and have the freedom to choose my life.
Reggie is so grateful he is free to run around the house, out his Doggie Door, and around the bushes and trees in the yard. He came from a cage in the Adoption Center with hundreds of other dogs crying, howling, and barking to be loved and free. It is my sacred privilege to give him his gift of freedom as he is a beautiful gift to me. Nancy and Reggie♥