Every holiday affects a griever. Celebrating Fourth of July here in the United States is no different. A day of picnics and pool parties by day and fireworks and bonfires by night, they still have a hold on our memory and hearts.
In my childhood days, I remember picnics in the backyard, among the garden, under the pear tree, just us. Dad grilled us steaks, hotdogs, and hamburgers. Back then the bees weren’t a problem and flies could be swatted away easily. We then would drive to one of our favorite parks and see the fireworks. I recall once one of the firework pods landing on my mom’s lap. We didn’t fret back then when that happened or even worried about anyone being disorderly or dangerous in a public event.
As I got older, Fourth of July meant more people at picnics and larger crowds at firework displays. My last most memorable firework event was when road rage ended a policeman’s life as he directed traffic, and a young child being shot in the roof of their mouth by a stray bullet. With good reason, I gave up on the local firework displays.
So in my lifetime, I’ve seen many fireworks with different groups, at different events, different venues and not even on the Fourth of July.
There was one time, though, when they affected me even differently than any other fireworks experience.
In the summer of 2011, my mother was not at home, but at a rehab center. I drove two and half hours every Friday night to wherever she was residing. Her battle with cancer was slowly taking her. I remember my mother saying to me earlier in the day when were visiting on how she felt bad I would be missing out on fireworks. I reassured her, it didn’t matter. On my way home, the end of a weekend and everyone was celebrating fireworks on Sunday, July 3rd, I took a different way home from the center for a change of scenery. I was leaving later than usual, but not too late to see many fireworks displays along my highway drive home. I couldn’t help but reminisce about the memories I shared earlier in this blog. The fireworks I saw weren’t among a crowd of questionable onlookers. They all just randomly appeared in the dark sky, in the distance, on either side of the car. There was no noise of the booms, just colors dazzling silently as I continued my drive. These fireworks didn’t awe me. They didn’t take my breath away.
They did make me cry.
I thought of my father. He always made sure when we were younger, we did get to see them. Even on makeup dates if it rained. Here I was getting to see them. Possibly he arranged this show. I had hoped he was seeing them too.
The next time I saw fireworks, was a night on my honeymoon, I was blessed in seeing a fireworks display at the Cinderella Castle at Disney World. They do this huge display every night. Music, character images on the castle and fireworks behind and on the sides. It was breathtaking. I saw them another time after that and I had the same reaction.
But, to me, a fireworks display of any kind…could never compare…even these, to the night I drove home that one night. That night the sky lit up to remind me of who I was the daughter of and to remind me all my memories are an important part of my life– past, present, and future.
My memories help me heal. Keep a hold of yours. You may need them later on, like me, on any–day, especially a holiday.
Have a Safe Holiday–
From Sully Said It