Independent, But United

 Tracy, my partner for life

In 1998, at this very date and time, I was married to Harold Tracy Parish III (Tracy). Some might laugh at the date we selected to say our vows. After all, July 4 is a holiday celebrated in recognition of our country becoming an independent nation. We take time to think about the many freedoms we enjoy.

I don’t know about Tracy. But, I do not view our marriage as a loss of freedom or independence. We are united in most beliefs and ideologies. But, both of us remain free to think, decide, speak, act, and listen. I feel secure in the support we give one another as well as the space to make new friends, learn, pursue talents and careers, make mistakes and make successes.

It is frustrating at times when Tracy and I disagree. There are issues we battle that leaves one or both fuming. But, our unity is stronger than the temporary inner turmoil we find ourselves in. We agree to disagree. It is unrealistic to expect 100-percent agreement on how to solve each problem we meet.

Independent, but united is how I prefer to define our marriage. I am Kate; and — without a doubt — he is Tracy.

Celebrating Freedom

When the skies darkened north of the “D” crackles and pops interrupted the twilight hum. In anticipation of the big celebration on Wednesday, July 4, Friday night explosions rattled windows; and beautiful colors lit the sky. Neighbors shared in a preview of the multiple-day celebrations of independence. I am grateful to live freely and in relative peace. We can assemble and party as we see fit; and say whatever comes to mind. In fact, writing my blog posts is a freedom I enjoy immensely. There is little fear of government crackdowns, unwarranted door-to-door searches; or intimidation from voicing opinions or from practicing ethnic or religious traditions.

What if the government had to approve the guest list to your backyard BBQ; or if police arrested you and a couple of outspoken guests for discussing the ban on super-size soda?