This is the fifth Fourth of July that we have not been together. As a family, we have always celebrated our holidays together. It has been so difficult to continue the tradition without you who made our family complete. We are now minus one. And although we can laugh and carry on…I am carrying on with a terrible, painful void.
It was ten years ago today that we had the best Fourth ever. We rented a condo in Destin and stayed on the beach for the weekend. It was wonderful. The fireworks were up and down the beach in every direction. I knew we were creating a memorable time in our family history. All of you had such a good time. It delighted my heart to know that we were all together and having a wonderful time. Remember how we would all wear our patriotic shirts from Old Navy and go to the city firework display? We would have our cookout like millions of Americans and then everyone of us would get in the pool with the music blasting and laughter ringing as loudly as the fireworks. We no longer do those things now. We have our “new normal”…which sucks. Of course, we get together…we cookout…we laugh…your dad still buys the roman candles, the firecrackers, the tanks, the sparklers, etc….the grandchildren are growing up…some have already grown up…that yesterday is just a good memory. I write about it so that somehow it will survive. Our family is changing not only because of your absence but because it is a natural course. There will come a day when another person in our family will be gone forever. I want so much for it to be me because I cannot take another loss. Changes are hard. Death is cruel even though I am a faithful Believer in God, Heaven, and eternal life, this fleshly sadness is overwhelming at times most especially on holidays when death’s blow is the most obvious.
Our Fourths continue with a little less zeal now…not loss of our patriotism….not loss of our hope…but loss of you who was part of our joy..our American boy…our Brandon.