My July 4

The crossword puzzle in one of the dailies today had this clue: Today. It called for 15 letters. A tough one.

I moved to another clue somewhere in the middle: Honoree today. It needed another 15 letters. It got tougher.

And the last clue for the same number of letters at the bottom of the puzzle: Colors of today.

I finally got it. Red white and blue!

Today of course is Independence Day. And the honoree today is? You guessed right, United States of America.

I could have easily guessed it myself. On July 4, (Philippine-American Friendship Day in our country), Tony and I commemorate our wedding anniversary. But then again, it wouldn't have dawned on us early enough. Hadn’t our son JC greeted us at the breakfast table, Tony and I would have had to wait for more clues to remember.

Someone would remind us during the day, that’s for sure. Our pastor sent me his greetings one hour later through a text message, which I forwarded to Tony. From son JB, wife Gianina and grandson Adrian, we got gift certificates later in the afternoon for dinner at the Makati Shangri-la.

People remember, friends and loved ones remember. Now, why do Tony and I forget?

I guess that after years of marriage, which saw us through many tragedies—deaths of both our parents, our son Adrian, his only sister and only brother, loved ones, and close friends; sicknesses—not to count Tony’s bout with colon cancer which would have cut short his life fourteen years ago, and again a heart quadruple bypass four years later, my three surgeries, and many, many more crises, every day is a celebration.

Every morning when I open my eyes, I am thankful for another day of grace. Among our manifold blessings are three sons who grew up (despite their mother's motherly ineptness) to be fine young men who love God, in a richly textured life filled with life lessons that I write in books and blogs.

We don’t and can't wait a year to celebrate—a new day is always the best time for thanksgiving. And July 4 (without meaning to diminish its significance) is one of God’s grace works, as important as yesterday, and all the 365 days of the year.

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