I turned three the week before Canada Day in 1967—the day my family and me left our country, family, and friends to move abroad. Trivia alert! Canada Day is a National holiday and is the anniversary of the 1867 British North America Act, which unified two British colonies and a province into a single country called Canada. The significance of leaving on that particular day was lost on my toddler self.

We lived on Grand Bahama Island for twelve years and I was barely old enough on July 10, 1973 to recognize that their independence from Britain was a big deal. I had never celebrated a Fourth of July until I met Jeff in 1983 and was absorbed into his large close-knit American family. The Fourth became cookouts on the Rainbow River. Tubing, swimming, fishing, and watching fireworks reflect over the water are a montage of grown up memories.

I’ve been considering what independence means to me and how grateful I am for it in my life. Here are a few definitions that helped me to clarify independence and freedom:


Freedom from control, influence, support, aid, or the like of others


The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement

The right to enjoy all the privileges or special rights of citizenship in a community

Difference between independence & freedom:

Independence implies lack of restrictions but ability to stand-alone unsustained by anything else

I choose to be independent as part of a country and a human being but know that I do want and seek the support of my family and friends—not so that I am dependent on them or needy but so they are there when I need them and me for them. Our independence shouldn’t isolate or separate us but unify. This is true for families, communities, cities, states, and countries.

I’ve witnessed both of my parents lose their independence incrementally due to age and illness and am an advocate for elderly rights. I want to support my mom to make her own choices for as long as she is capable and allow her as much independence as possible with her illness—souls don’t age or become ill.

I am grateful for the freedom to:

  • Vote (even though I’m not a US Citizen and don’t vote
  • Practice my spiritual beliefs
  • Marry, or not
  • Create a family, or not
  • Own my own business and work from home
  • Express myself
  • Create
  • Exert free will
  • Be fully who I am
  • To love

While you’re celebrating this week I hope you’ll pause to fill in the blank for yourself:

I’m incredibly grateful for the freedom to__________.

Happy Fourth of July! Happy belated Canada Day!

This entry was written by Laura and published on July 2, 2010 at 8:00 am. It’s filed under Authenticity, Connections, Friendship, Gratitude, Laura, Lifeology, Relationships. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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