Today was the fourth of July. It's a day I associate with lots of memories. I loved going to the fireworks growing up and I remember many years out in the high school field watching the explosions overhead. I remember one in particular that was great fun, spent with my family and a dear, dear friend of mine. He and I lost touch after high school. I called him up about 15 years ago and we had a great talk. A couple of years ago, I dreamt about him and decided to search for him online. When I did, I found that he had committed suicide three days earlier. I still cry when I think about it.
The fourth reminds me of when I broke up with my boyfriend of 4 plus years. Painful. Liberating, Scary.
The fourth reminds me of being in labor with Jasmine and not knowing it. Going to dinner at my in-law's house and wondering why I felt uncomfortable every few minutes. By the time we got back home, I was having contractions every 3-4 minutes. She arrived in the early hours of July 5th. It was supposed to be at home, but ended up in the hospital for reasons I would know better to change today, but was clueless then. Coming home on the 5th with that precious, tiny bundle and desperately hoping I would know how to take care of her. The loving part of her was easy.
The fourth reminds me of the year Nicole was in Alaska and we talked by phone as I watched the colors in the sky, through tears because I missed her.
This year, I came up with a new idea--every day, I go to the local high school track and walk. The view is amazing--clear sky in every direction. So tonight, we went early and took chairs. We walked laps and then set up the chairs and watched fireworks in seven different places across the sky. It was the most amazing thing ever. Of course, we celebrated with Oreos--a tradition that began 26 years ago. I haven't had sugar in 6 weeks, but I had one cookie because heck, it's a TRADITION. We sat in chairs and laughed and talked and oooohed and ahhhhed and even shivered a little as a brisk wind came through.
It was all about family. And really, that is what all of my memories of the 4th were about. I look forward to future July 4ths and making even more to add to the list. Happy Independence Day to all.