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The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. I'm in love with colors, lots of colors have always made me feel happy. They bring the best out in me. When I was little and my mom took me to Florida I asked her to do me just one favor, when she rented a car for us, could she rent me a red car. And so she did. It was bright red. Not orange red, not off red, not even maroon. It was the most beautiful red I ever saw. The car was brand new and had a very shiny coat. The inside was black leather. Back then they didn't make seats from plastic. It was late 1950's. My mom's red rent a car made me the happiest little girl in Florida
I can't remember a year I didn't see fireworks. Sometimes we would go to Riverside Drive, across from New Jersey to see the Fireworks. They shot up in the sky so high I almost had to do a back flip. I liked the ones that looked like feathers, so soft and beautiful. The different colors shimmered up in the sky. I felt they were stroking the heavens. Then they slowly faded away. On the way home, I would skip along, singing Yankee Doodle Dandy wondering what the words meant.
Fireworks took on a different meaning for me in my 20's. I had moved to Florida and we could sit on the grass on hills. (Better known in Florida has mountains. Lol) As I watched the fireworks pierce the sky, I could feel the earth shake, then cinders would fall. The experience felt so real I would pretend I was on the American battlefield hiding from the enemy. I would sometimes shut my eyes and hug my friends. I would ask them if they were injured and we would all laugh
As the years went by like anyone, I collected memories of each year, one by one. What good times we had.
It was 1985. I had a husband a little girl and a baby boy. My husband was sick, that year, but he wouldn't miss the fireworks for anything in the world. He knew how much they meant to me. This was before Facebook and before people took a lot of night photos. What a pity we couldn't take night photos back then. I remember my husband holding our baby and looking up at the sky with us. The colors were vibrant and so lovely. Our baby fell asleep through it all. Our daughter between us and so enchanted at the show in the sky. This was bliss.
I spent the next year caring for my husband. This was the year he wasn't going to get better. July 4th came out of nowhere. I had to tell the my daughter and step-daughter there would be no fireworks this year. I told them, "But, don't worry!" I said with a comforting smile, "if you go outside you can hear the rumble of the all the shows all over town!" That night my husband did pass away. As I held his hand, I sang Yankee Doodle Dandy. I could almost see a glimmer of a smile from him or was it my imagination? This was our goodbye and so we did, on the 4th of July.
So again, 4th of July took on another meaning for me. The next year I decided to tell my children a little story. I'm not sure whether it was more for them or to comfort me. It was the story of how their father went to heaven as we held hands and sang. Yankee Doodle Dandy. After I finished telling them my little story, we all held hands, said a prayer and sang daddy's favorite song, Yankee Doodle Dandy.
I don't know why I wrote this for you. Something inside me wanted to. It isn't to make you sad. I just wanted to share a bittersweet moment in my life.
It happened a very long time ago. The years have healed my wounds, my loneliness and my sorrow. In it's place, is a gentle reminder of a love so sweet and so dear, not even the passage of time can erase it. When I remember my husband I do so with not with tears and sadness, but with a smile. I remember, not the pain I endured. That is long gone, but how incredibly wonderful and intensely beautiful our love and life was..Sometimes, I laugh at the amusing stories I remember. He was a funny guy and a happy man, who lived in the moment. His life was full and meaningful. He had a good life. I think sometimes the Lord and Heavenly Father ask us mortals to come home. Their work is done on earth and so much more has to be done in heaven. Sometimes I think my husband was one of the selected few to do a job only he alone could do.
God does work in mysterious ways. Not all deaths are for no reason or to cause people on this earth pain and suffering for no reason at all. I believe my husband's death was not in vain, but for the Glory of God.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ,