Dougherty Family Blog

Friday, July 29, 2011

The days are long but the years are short

To John. My seven year old little boy.

Happy 7th Birthday! About once a year, I try to write a letter ro you and here it is. You weigh about 53 pounds and in August you will start second grade. You like sports, you like to read and play video games. Your favorite food is Generals Chicken. Favorite show is Deadliest Warrior. You love our Dog Bella and your favorite color is orange. You love to laugh and you love to make others laugh. You are kind, affectionate, funny and sweet. You love to be tough and strong. You flex your muscles and show them to me at least once a week. George W. Bush was President when you were born and Barrack Obama is President now. Our Country is at War in the Middle East and has been for many years. This is a profound time of change for not only our nation but for the world as a whole.

I believe that we are all born with gifts and talents, and in my eyes, you were born with many. You are kind, generous, loving and very protective. When you were three and it was time for me to have Anna, you wanted to save me from the hospital. After she was born, I would take you to Pre-School two days a week. I would walk you to your class and set Anna down on the floor in her carrier so I could say goodbye to you and talk to your teachers. You would stand in front of her carrier and block all of the curious three year olds in your class from getting near her. When I had to have a minor surgery this year, you were the one by my side. When I got home, I couldn't do anything but sit in a chair in our living room with my feet up. You stayed on the arm of the chair next to me and made sure that I was comfortable and even more importantly, you made me feel loved and not alone. You did more for me that day than any pain medicine could have done. You are also protective in the small ways too. You notice when Anna isn't in the same room as us and you always ask where she is and you just instinctively keep an eye on her when you guys are away from home. No wonder you want to be a Missionary, a Soldier and a Father when you grow up.

"Before you were conceived I wanted you. Before you were born I loved you. Before you were here an hour I would give my life for you. This is the miracle of life. ~ Maureen Hawkins"

It's hard for me to explain to you how quickly these seven years have gone by and how much you have grown and changed and then again, how much you have stayed the same. When I look back to those days when I was 24 and you were a newborn baby,  I mostly remember how I felt. From the day you were born, all I ever wanted was to be good enough for you. I wanted to love you enough, teach you enough, give you enough and just be everything that you needed me to be.What I didn't know at the time was that our Heavenly Father gave me the privilege of being a mother so that I could become the woman I was meant to be. The instant you were born, you changed my life and my soul forever. Yes, before you were born, I existed but after you were born, I became something new. I became a mother. A mother so full of love and newness that I could barely comprehend the enormity of what I was feeling.

As I try to imagine the years ahead of us, it occurs to me that soon, you will be stronger and taller than I am. Soon you won't want me to hold you. Soon, I will have to let you go in a car with your friends and very soon after that I will have to just let you go. As you grow into a man, I hope and pray that you will have the strength and the knowledge that you need to overcome this world. That you will understand that the only way you can do that is by following Christ our Savior and obeying the commandments of God. By doing so, you will be able to live a righteous and good life full of love and mercy. I hope that you grow to be a happy, kind and accomplished man. I hope you love and serve the Lord as well as those around you.

You have been blessed with a strong faith in God, a loving testimony of Christ and you believe in the comfort of prayers and scriptures. You and Anna spend a ton of time together and a lot of it is spent laughing, joking around and playing. Anna wasn't your first friend, but she has become your best friend. You love, protect and take up for each other. I hope that you and your sister only grow closer and find a way to sustain your awesome love for each other throughout your entire lives.

My heart is filled with gratitude and love for you. Thank you so much for being who you are. The happiness that you have given to our family, can not be measured.

When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become. ~Louis Pasteur

Monday, July 4, 2011

You can't trust freedom when it's not in your hands

Yes, that's a line from a Guns -N- Roses song. I'm old school like that. However lame that was, there's a lot of truth in those words. Today is the fourth of July. A day that always reminds me of how much mankind gained 235 years ago and how much we have since lost, given away or stopped caring about.

America is becoming the land of the un-free. Yes, we are free to make choices as long as those choices are within the guidelines set by about 1,000 regulatory government agencies like the IRS, the EPA and two corrupt and deceitful political parties. An America where Fifty-one percent of the people get to tell the other 49 percent what to do. An America where the people don't have a say in what the Senate and Congress do once they are elected.  That's why I long for an America without EPA regulations, without two ruling  political parties and Planned Parenthood funding issues.

When you think about the things that the government either directly controls or heavily regulates, things like education, Medicare, energy and Social Security, they are over budget, crazily in debt, broken and out of control. The broken things that the Government controls are vital to us, our families and our well being yet, still remain out of our reach. People are left feeling fearful of the future because it is unknown. People are desperate for change.

So what's the answer? What will help America? In my opinion, first we need to dedicate our lives to knowing, loving and serving the Lord. Second, we need a return of moral character and virtue. Third, we need to uphold and understand the U.S. Constitution. Wouldn't it be nice if one of these days, we could live in a world where good prevailed? Where freedom was real. Wouldn't it be nice to have political system where perverted photos, lying, cheating and cover ups weren't the norm and a "Global Agenda" wasn't put ahead of America's well being?

All that being said, the greatest contribution to freedom is given by our soldiers. They have said goodbye to their families, their friends and their homes to preserve our freedom and ensure the safety of our people. They are doing what needs to be done. What none of us want them to have to do and then what none of us would personally want to do. Thank you to all those who love and serve this great nation and her people. We are forever in your debt. What you have given can not be measured.

America is the only country where freedom is completely taken for granted. Mostly because all of us who are living here now had it given to us and we have never known anything different. It reminds me of a verse from Joshua 24:13 "So I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build; and you live in them and eat from vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant." 

So on Independence Day let us always remember this: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing" -Edmund Burke. All those years ago, after many lives were lost and battles were won, 55 good men; under divine inspiration, signed the Constitution and gave to the world America. The land of the free because of the brave.