ChoiceI met a young woman at the airport while flying to Vancouver.  She had a beautiful  five year old daughter who was equipped with everything one needs when flying.  Her pillow shaped like a lamb, her knapsack covered with kitties and her sparkle shirt to make her shine in flight.

Her mother was from Belize and they were on their way to Austin, Texas where a cousin lived .  Her daughter was born in the states but been back to Belize to meet all of her family.  Her mom had been in the military in Belize as a medic and her daughter was born out of wedlock.  Her mom met another man, married him and was swept off to the U.S.

As her daughter slept she told me she was going to Austin to escape an abusive marriage.  She had to have a restraining order put against her ex-husband but was too afraid to be in the same city.  They left everything they owned and were going to Austin with nothing but a small suitcase, her daughter’s pillow shaped like a lamb, her knapsack covered with kitties and her sparkle shirt to make her shine.

On this Independence Day this beautiful, brave woman came to mind on what is freedom and how we fight to keep it.  Not just in our country but in our day to day lives.  We have the freedom to choose in which direction we want to go whether it is for the best.  We still have that freedom.  I so admire the tenacity of this soft spoken woman whose strength came from within.  I could tell she was scared of what their future would hold but she was one of the lucky ones who found the courage to fight for a better life.

There are so many people in our world today who are fighting to have a choice.  In the darkness and despair of fear some are strong enough to make it and some are not.  I have great respect for those who somehow endure tremendous obstacles and still find their freedom.  We do have choices and the freedom in making my own choices, whether others feel it is right or not,  is what independence is all about.

“Liberty, taking the word in its concrete sense, consists in the ability to choose.”  Simone Weil




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