Memories of the Fourth of July

I wrote the blog below 2 years ago. Now both Mom and Dad are gone. Today is Mom’s Birthday. She would have been 89. I’m not wrapping a gift. I’m wrapping my head around a lifetime full of memories. No regrets, some sadness. Now it’s time to make new memories for my kids and grandkids to someday share.

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From July 2012

The Fourth of July used to be like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. When I was very young we spent it with my Mothers family. Her cousin lived in Glenside and had a big family picnic. Lot’s of people, lot’s of food, swimming in an above ground pool . . . what more could you want. After the picnic we would all walk in mass into town to watch the Glenside parade followed by fireworks. There was lots of flag waiving and patriotic music. Things seemed simpler then. As time went by my parents started staying home and having their own company. They put in an above ground pool and fired up the grill. The company changed over the years till eventually it was my parents, us kids, and our kids and a few others. It was a command performance that none of us would dare miss. I don’t know anyone brave enough to tell my mother that they were not going to be there for the Fourth of July. Moms birthday is July 3rd so it was an unwritten rule that everyone show up on the Fourth and we have a red, white and blue cake with birthday candles to celebrate.

Things are so different now. My parents are pretty much confined to the house. There is no big family picnic. The grandkids, that used to love going to their house, are grown with lives and families of their own. My mothers memory is gone so she doesn’t remember all the fun she used to have or that the Fourth of July was a special day for her. But I remember, so I still spend the Fourth with my parents. My husband and I forgo the picnics and parties. We pack up food and go have dinner with the folks. It’s not a roaring good time but I have the feeling that some day these may be just as cherished a memory as the big family picnics.

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