Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A History of my Fourths of July

The Fourth of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. As a child, I looked forward to the fireworks, hamburgers, watermelon, and trips to the lake with my cousins. One of my favorite traditions, though, was watching movies. We would watch Jaws or have Star Wars marathons,  and sometimes, we even went to see a new release in the theater.

I often laugh when I think about watching Independence Day on opening day back in 1996. My older cousins had come to visit from North Carolina, and I was excited to go to a movie with the "big kids." I was only ten years old, so hanging out with 20 year olds was a big deal! As we made our way into the packed movie theater, we realized we would have to split up. My cousin, Eddie, and I went to the far left of the theater and sat beside a couple in their mid-20s.

I know most of you have seen the movie, but there is one particular scene that is meant to surprise the audience. The government officials are touring Area 51, and the alien has escaped during an operation which was being performed by Data (or the actor who plays Data in Star Trek). Everything is quiet until suddenly, Data is slammed against a glass panel and says, "Release me!" 

I'll admit--I was scared. I was ten...of course, I was scared! However, there was someone who was definitely more (outwardly) terrified than I was. The young man sitting beside my cousin Eddie literally jumped into his lap during this in Eddie had a stranger sitting in his lap screaming like a young child. I will never forget how unbelievably ridiculous the entire scenario was. We all felt awkward. The man hurriedly sat back in his seat and his girlfriend hid her face in shame. I was too embarrassed for the guy to actually laugh at the time, and Eddie had a "did that just happen" look on his face. Fortunately, we made it through the movie without anymore incidents.

Although that is a tough memory to outdo, I must say that I have one more that is even better than that. Four years ago, I was single and loving life in Provo. I knew Nathan from church, had a crush on him, and also knew that he was engaged. I was downtown with some friends, enjoying the evening, when I walked past Nathan. He looked so sad. Little did I know that he and his fiance had just broken up about 10 minutes earlier. I felt like I should say something, but I wasn't sure what to say to someone I  hardly knew. So, I looked at him, smiled and awkwardly said: "Cheer up, Charlie."

Cheer up, Charlie!? Where did that come from?! I'm not sure, but I guess I caught his attention! Later on that night, he joined up with our group of friends to watch the fireworks. We didn't talk much, but we definitely started our friendship. And now we are married and have three kids.

While those are two of my favorite memories, I cannot help but think of what was going on last 4th of July weekend. I know I have had several "one year ago, this happened" posts, but I really am in awe  of how much life can change in a year...for the better, that is. 

We began the month with my feeding tube insertion. Cheryl, who had been helping us for a month, left for the weekend to attend our niece's baptism. We thought we would be fine for a few days, but we really hit rock bottom. Less than 24 hours after going through the trauma of receiving the NJ tube, I vomited up half of the line. I was gagging, choking, panicking, and freaking out. Nathan was quietly freaking out as well. I will always be grateful to our friend Tina for coming over to watch Eliza while we went to the hospital. I was dehydrated, but had no good veins, the infusion center was closed for the holidays, and I was told a second NJ tube would not be a good idea due to radiation and the fact that I couldn't keep one down. That night, I lay awake in bed for hours and cried. I prayed for an end to the pain, and I prayed that I would live and be able to have healthy baby boys. I've said this before, but in all honesty and without exaggerating, I thought I was going to starve to death (sorry to be depressing, but it was the lowest of lows in my life). I could tell Nathan was worried as well because he had no jokes to lighten the mood. He blogged that day, which seldom happens, and admitted that he felt defeated. In the post, he stated:

I guess the point is: gratitude. So cliche, I know. So trite and non-glamorous. But that's it.  And while it never makes you feel better to say "it could be so much worse," it is true. Cecil will get better, the twins will be born, and someday we'll all be able to go on a walk. And who knows, maybe we'll even get to go boating.

God bless America -- but at the times it (and I) feels less blessed, I'll be ok with that. Because there really is an overwhelming amount of things to be thankful for. You/I/We all have it so good.

A year later, we are grateful for our healthy sons and the fact that my own health improved greatly. I wish I could explain fully how happy these little ones make us. And today, we even went on a walk. Like he said, there really is so much to be thankful for.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! Thank for reading the world's longest blog post :)


  1. Not quite the longest...mine can be pretty wordy and photo intensive. Haha! My excuse, of course, is this is the main way I keep up with our memory preservation. That memory of you and Eddie at the movies is priceless...he had told me the story and remembers it well! Yes, we all have so much to be thankful married a guy who will forever remind you of that, I'm sure!

  2. I'm so happy that you have come so far from where you were a year ago. So much has changed for you even in the last week! Just think what could possibly be in store for next year.

    Also, guy jumping into your cousin's lap out of sheer terror....that's funny right there. Haha. ;)

  3. I just can't even express how happy I am that you and Nathan found each other and you'll be around forever for me to hang out with while our guys talk. And talk, and talk... And also because I seriously love you. Celia, it makes me so sad to remember you being so sick! That was the worst! I remember Nathan writing that post and just thinking I felt so sad for you!! I am so glad you're done with that crazy pregnancy and you have your sweet boys as a reward. You deserve it!


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