Like you, I’m sure, I have many memories of Independence days through the years.
I can remember going to the car races with my Grandpa Frank and Grandma Mamie and waiting, waiting, waiting for the races to be over. I wanted to watch the fireworks! I also remember flying in their little airplane to a nearby town to go to a town picnic in the park. I was so upset when Grandpa wanted to leave early before the fireworks. I was later thrilled to watch them from the air! Everyone should have a Grandma Mamie and a Grandpa Frank.
I remember standing out on Grandma Mamie and Grandpa Frank’s front porch and playing with sparklers. Sparklers were my favorites. I used to try to write my name with them in the air. They were the next best thing to a real magical fairy wand. Hey, I was young! I wasn’t that smart about sparkler safety, though. I dropped one on the porch and then stepped on it with a bare little foot. Yikes! I could wail with the best of them.
Grandma and Grandpa moved to Texas when I was a teenager. So, from then on, most of my Independence Days were celebrated on the third with my mom and step-dad. I’m not sure if we had the big cook out and shot the fireworks because it was their anniversary or because they didn’t have to work the next day.
I remember my first Fourth of July as a young bride. We lived just half a block from the college football field where they were shooting the fireworks display. We invited my Dad and Annie to come and watch with us from our driveway. Unfortunately, we were downwind. We were inundated with smoke and debris falling from the sky. Annie was hit by what looked like a big piece of coconut shell.
Later, I remember watching with our babies. I remember covering their ears, hugging them closely, and watching their eyes wide with wonder at such a glorious sight. I don’t remember any of them crying; but, they sure snuggled in close.
Twelve years ago, I remember standing in our Pastor’s front yard, with tears streaming down my face, as we watched the display from afar. We had been on our way to the park; but, it was excessively hot, I was excessively pregnant, and my mother was at death’s door. I had just returned from seeing her. My, how she loved fireworks! She’d spend a fortune to get that display just right. Well, she waited until just after midnight to go home so that she wouldn’t spoil the fourth. I’m quite sure she waited. She could have gone on the third, her anniversary. She could have gone on the fourth, a holiday. She could have gone on the sixth, her mom’s birthday. She went on the fifth. I just can’t help believing that she knew what she was doing.
Thank you God that this is another year to fill with memories with my husband and my kids. Praise the LORD!