This Fourth we traveled to Reading for our annual family picnic together. Bryan was decked in his usual red, white and blue – sporting two glitzy flag pins on his flag t-shirt. Tacky, but he loved them. At this point, I don’t worry about his presentation to family. They get it. Bryan is his own man and sometimes the outfit doesn’t match and sometimes there are wardrobe choices that deserve an eye roll or two. At least the color scheme was appropriate!
As last year, Bryan asked to offer a short prayer before our picnic lunch. With the disfluent speech, it turned into a longer grace than anticipated, but everyone was cool with it. It was different than last year’s blessing. Once again, it was wholly appropriate to the day. He combined scripture with his own words.
Here was the prayer: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Psalm 33:12 . We celebrate with special music. God bless the U.S.A. Amen.” Short. Sweet. Simple.
After our meal, the I-pad came out. Ed and I grimaced slightly at what was about to happen. Bryan knows he has a captive audience after a meal, when we sit around and chat about various topics. So, to be polite, we endured about ten minutes of Bryan’s prerecorded message, shown on the I-pad.
This is what happens when he has too much free time. He is between jobs and is alone most every day of the week. He recorded his speech in his bedroom, the gist of which was how we as Americans enjoy our freedoms. Then he played one of his patriotic CDs as we watched him conduct the marches on the screen. The next song he sang along with. We did the obligatory clap, which he appreciated. But, he was bummed when we changed the subject to another topic, stopping him after two songs. His presentation was clearly not over. I bet he spent hours making that recording. I felt badly that we didn’t watch the whole thing. It’s a tough balance between honoring Bryan’s wish to show his video and considering the tolerance level of the audience, family or not.
We ended on a happy note, however. Bryan handed me a CD, saying that this was my favorite (I’m guessing because he knows I love Sousa marches!) and asked if we could play it on the way home from Reading. So, we cranked up the player and J.P.S. ushered us home along the turnpike. Bryan conducted the band from the back seat. He was happy once again with family and music – two of his very favorite things.