It seemed so funny at the time that he should be born today, a national holiday. But as I've seen him grow and mature, I've come to think how really appropriate that he was born on this day. He is the most patriotic person I know and he loves his country and would do anything to defend it.
The only thing more important than being a part of the Armed Forces is being a part of the Lord's army, serving as a missionary. Even that has been delayed and has made him wait for awhile. And I'm OK with this. I know that the timetable of the Lord sometimes isn't our own. Some of us have to wait, for whatever reason. I know it isn't easy for Eddie to wait, but he is and has been doing it with grace. Today he offhandedly told me that he might be on the big screen at 'Stadium of Fire'. Earlier this year, he had been with his BYU Air Force ROTC Unit at Hill AFB, welcoming incoming soldiers from Iraq tours of duty. They randomly selected some of the cadets to describe what it means to them when they see the flag. I know he said something short, succinct and to the point. That is how he is. But it would have been good. I wish I had known that, because I would have been sitting in that Stadium tonight, even though I'm not a Jonas Brothers fan. But as it is, we will be celebrating with our family, such as it is, tonight. Simple, that's how Eddie has always liked it. That's not such a bad thing in this day and age of over-the-top entertainment and revelry. I've always known that Eddie is a stronger, more valiant spirit than I ever was. He knows what he needs to do and just does it, regardless of the unpleasantness or how he is feeling. He has the self-discipline to avoid things that aren't good for him--like too many helpings of dinner on Sunday or spending all kinds of money on cars, bikes and entertainment and instead using it on his mission.
Who would have known that on that 4th of July 21 years ago one of God's truly valiant warriors would be coming to my arms to stay awhile. Not for too long, really. Just long enough to get the basics so he could continue on his way. But what a privilege it has been for me. Happy birthday, Eddie. I love you.