In case you didn’t know, I’m sappy.
I’m not the “bawling my eyes out” sappy because I am great at fighting off the urge to cry. I hate crying in front of people, even my husband. Maybe it’s because I am a pro at the ugly cry but I just don’t like to do it.
Where am I going with this? Great question that might not get answered. However today we went to a 4th of July parade that my community has every year. Let me tell you that this community we live in right outside of one of the largest cities in America (Houston) really knows how to make you feel like you are in smalltown America. I love it, I really do.
We got our spots in the blazing sun picked out and settled in to watch the parade. First there were stunning vintage cars that crept by while honking their horns. Some had the old “A-choo-ga” horns while others were modern day polite little beeps.
Then the Grand Marshall of the parade came around the corner, riding on the back of the last car and it was one of the firefighters injured in the huge fire a few weeks ago in Houston that killed 4 firefighters. And the tears appeared in my eyes. I couldn’t help it. We waved and applauded, hoping to convey some appreciation to him in that manner. I thought I was good to go.
But next in line was a memorial float for the 4 firefighters that lost their lives, one being the brother of a friend… and fighting off the tears got harder. Men and women that give their all to protect us is what ensures that 4th of July is more than just a piece of history.
Thankfully the next car held the current mayor of Houston, which immediately dried threatening to cry eyes. There was some heckling from the crowd and a question thrown out from my husband about when she was planning to lower our water bills ($200-$300 a month). The water bill makes me cry, but not the sight of the mayor.
Once again I thought I was good.
Until a wagon holding Veterans came down the street and the man next to us told his wife, “Oh look, there’s a World War 2 vet, you don’t see many of those anymore, thousands are dying daily”. And my thoughts went to my grandfather who is going downhill very quickly and his service in World War 2, The Berlin Airlift in the Cold War, The Vietnam War and countless other deployments and the tears were there again.
The parade finished out later that morning without me having embarrassed my husband by busting into tears. Princess Goofy got a free shirt, everyone left with a new frisbee and there’s enough candy to make my kids climb the walls for the next 3 weeks. Overall a great day.
But…. in the best of days we need to take time to stop and thank the heroes in our lives, even if it means a fighting back tears.
If you are interested in helping one of the firefighters that was injured, Captain Dowling is in the hospital still in critical condition. His legs were amputated and he is slowly starting to respond to commands. If you would like to donate to his recovery fund, you can visit his Donate to Dowling page. There will also be a breakfast on July 20th to benefit this family in Houston. You can find more information about that here.