Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Yankee memory

I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy

A Yankee Doodle, do or die

A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam

Born on the Fourth of July

I've got a Yankee Doodle sweetheart

She's my Yankee Doodle joy

Yankee Doodle came to London

Just to ride the ponies

I am the Yankee Doodle Boy!

 Every Fourth of July, this song starts nudging at me.  It begins as a whisper

that swirls and twirls inside my head. Once I acknowledge its existence, it

then crescendo's with my entire body coming to full attention!  I embrace 

this old song with gusto... arms pumping in time to the music, words 

coming back to me as if it was only yesterday that this tune was sung around 

a family table.  And whom do I see sitting across from me?  My father-in-law!

Yes, a person who did not embrace me when I married his son. Someone 

who would lash out at me as I didn't match his expectations of what his 

daughter-in-law should be like.  I had expected a Hallmark card relationship 

but didn't get one.  We were both disappointed but would try to pick up the

pieces and move on one more time.  

It was a Fourth of July, many years ago, that we were living in Geneva,

Switzerland.  My in-laws had made a stop from a bus tour of Europe, to

visit us.  I was missing the familiarity of the good ol' USA on this special

holiday.  And I found out that my father-in-law was, too.  Maybe even

more so for him as he was a veteran of WWII.  Seeing Europe, brought

back memories as it does for so many who fought for our country.

Add to that all the things he was encountering on this trip that were so 

foreign to him... words, food, attitudes.  He was out of his comfort


There we sat at this table waiting for our supper to be ready... both

deep in our own thoughts.  And then it started.  I don't remember which

one of us did it, but it doesn't matter.  Unabashedly, we both sat there

and filled the air with this song... singing with American pride!  Trying to 

fill what was missing that day.  We had found common ground and we  

embraced that!  

It was a moment in time that I will never forget.  And I believe he felt 

the same way. He has passed for over 10 years, now, but every Fourth

of July I remember that time... those few minutes of that day... where

we were family!  John.... this song is for you!!!!  Do you hear me singing??


  1. Hi! You don't know me (yet) but I think that we live in the same area! I found your blog and LOVE it! I have nominated you for a Liebster award! Please stop by and pick it up! Maybe someday, we'll run into each other...I hope so!

  2. Hi Kadee! What a poignant story. Love your blog!