Sunday, July 03, 2011

4th of July

fireworks, sioux falls 2010

The 4th of July was always one of my favorite holidays. I remember as a little girl being so excited to go to the parade in my hometown.

hometown parade, from a friend of mine circa 1970's
 I loved the floats, the bands and the fire trucks. After dark, the town would put on a fireworks display that rivaled Macy’s, and was always featured on the local news.

hometown band concert before the fireworks, early 90's from a friend

 When I was a little bit older, I was able to march in the parade. I remember when I was in 4th or 5th grade, not much more than the Little Man, I was a giant sun. The parade theme that year was conserving energy, and I got to be solar power. Man, did I feel special!

As time went on, I took the princess to parades and fireworks. The Big Man & I would watch them too, and have ooh’s and ahh’s over the amazing displays. Little Man loves the fireworks, but isn’t in awe of parades as much as I am.
my grandmother and me, 1977

I have to admit that I don’t have the same joy over the 4th of July as I used to. It was on that day in 1999, my beloved grandmother suffered what would ultimately prove to be a fatal stroke.

my grandparents and my cousin Carol

 It was right before I was going to grill some burgers, and I had just made a pitcher of margaritas (I know, not very American, but it was the drink of choice that summer).

L-R my aunt Mary, my aunt Olga, my grama, my Uncle Kalman
Earlier in the day, she had complained about a headache (warning sign!) but didn’t do anything about it and by later in the afternoon, had stopped mentioning it. She was eating some chips and there was some discussion about something that made her a bit agitated. The next thing I know she is slumped over in her chair and can’t speak. Of course, she was rushed by ambulance.

thanksgiving 1977 or 1978
l-r Aunt Mary, me, Uncle Kalman, my godfather, grama & my Aunt Jeannie

Knowing that, there is a bit of bittersweetness to the 4th of July for me now. I don’t decorate and I wouldn’t even know where my decorations were if everything depended on it. I don’t plan a special menu. I don’t even make a big deal over it anymore, which really isn’t fair to my son.

little man, 4th of July fireworks 2010
He DESERVES for it to be a special day, and this year I am declaring it to be so.

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