My Rebel Grandpa

I absolutely love the Fourth of July. And lately, I’ve been wondering more and more about my great-greats… So, in the wee hours of the morning, I did more research — and found out why my great-x-great grandfather came over to America back in the 1600s. He was a minister in the Church of England, so I just assumed he came here to start his own church. Wrong. He was sent here as punishment. You see, when Charles II became king — a Catholic king — there was an uprising. And my grandpa was part of it. Many were executed, but they sent him and several others to Barbados, then sent them as punishment “to the colonies”… Wow.

It would be wonderful to know the details. He must’ve been a man of conviction and one who was brave. I like those qualities. But I also hope that when a Protestant king was on the throne that he had compassion on the Catholics… I’m going to believe that he did. I’m going to believe that he was a true man of God who stood up for the oppressed, and that that’s why he stood up against the king.

And so, on this Fourth of July, I’m thinking about all the women and men and children who were forced to come to this country — including those labeled rebels, slaves, indentured servants — and those Native Americans who were forced away from their homes… I’m thinking about all of us who came after them, every generation, from so many different countries… And I’m marveling at everyone who came here by choice to start over, who hoped for a better life… We’re not perfect, but we’re growing together and learning together… We’re all family on this planet…

We are what makes our country so great…

Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

(As a side note, just so I remember, Mom and I watched “Glory” and “The Patriot” on AMC today. I think I went through a box of tissues. Dinner included a hotdog/veggie burger, cole slaw, potato salad, corn, and onion-ring chips. Later, our neighbor came over and we watched the fireworks from D.C. and New York, and had strawberry-blueberry shortcake. We would’ve grilled out, but it was in the 90s again. Much too hot and humid. I stepped outside after the television fireworks and watched the illegal ones. ; ) It’s against the law here, but all around, from various neighborhoods, the sky lit up with magical displays, along with lightning bugs and a bright moon. So beautiful… And it was another day of saving bugs and seeing “11:11” and “1:11.” Yes, it continues. Whatever it means, it makes me smile.)

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