Independence Day reminds me of Christmas. Yes, really, or at least one Christmasy thing in particular – the Christmas stop-motion classic, “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”
When Rudolph meets his friend Hermey the elf, Hermey declares, “I’m independent!” And of course Rudolph chimes in that he is, too, and they go off being independent together. Then they get into a little scrape with the Abominable Snow Monster, and well, if you don’t know or remember the story from there, go watch it!
I always found it ironic that they set out being independent together, but that’s not unlike other situations. College students set off to be independent when they start their new lives away from home, but they usually still get at least some support from their folks at home. Newlyweds are independent in their new lives together, but they count on each other for love and support.
But at the Ronald McDonald House, families find that they get a little independence, too. While they are tending to their child’s needs at the hospital, they don’t have to worry about having a place to stay. Or where their next meal might be coming from – our meal provider volunteers help with that. So that helps give them more independence to concentrate on their child and helping them heal.
There are thousands of ways we are dependent on each other, but by trusting in family, friends and even strangers who you may never meet, that gives each of us a degree of independence that we’d never have otherwise. I hope that made sense. I think Hermey and Rudolph would understand.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy Independence Day, whether you’re alone or enjoying your independence with your family and friends. And I also want to give a special thank you to everyone in our military forces, active and retired, who have helped maintain our independence throughout the years.