Has it really been that long! As I drove home at sunset today I thought of how I had shared with my coworkers that I would celebrate not only my wedding anniversary tomorrow but also my “silver American anniversary.” I explained that I had left home twenty five years ago and arrived in the United States of America on October 28th. I once again heard the oh so familiar question that I am asked literally every day, “where’re you from?”

Wow! Twenty five years and counting! What have I missed out on by leaving everyone and everything I had ever known? What have I gained by living abroad? What are my outstanding memories? What are my regrets? My husband has heard me say more than once that I wish I had begun writing a book on the very day I left home; his response is always the same “you can still do it.”

It brings a smile when I remember how often I am “rebuked” by our daughters and my younger brother, all of whom have become American citizens, because I have not “joined the ranks.” Whether I join or not, one thing is for sure; my entire American experience can be described in a verse from the Bible: Jeremiah 17:7 “Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.”

…and the highlights are…? God+ spouse+ family+ friends+ colleagues+ freedom= America The Beautiful! And maybe soon… when someone asks “where’re you from?” I can chant “America!”

Thank you God for St Helena Island the place of my beginnings, and thank you God for America, the place of my growth. Amen.