Today would have been son Jeff's 38th birthday. What a neat day to call your own, huh!
It's been somewhat of a struggle for me today... and in the couple of weeks leading up to this day. It used to be the kids and grandkids would spend the whole day with us. The guys would do the grilling, we'd all watch the grandkids playing in the pool or sprinkler, and us girls would be finishing up side dishes in the kitchen.
And of course, we'd all be getting into the sacks of fireworks and lighting up the small things that just made noise during the day, saving the big stuff for later in the evening.
Nothing ever stopped us from having loads of fun on July 4th, even during the one year that the weather was chilly and misty all day. We often invited friends or an elderly neighbor to join us.
One year, the guys were standing around talking and barbequing the meats. Jeff accidentally backed up into the chicken grill, knocking every leg, thigh, and breast to the dusty ground. We just picked up the pieces, washed 'em off and threw 'em back on the grill!
But when Jeff died, this day seemed to turn into a punch in the gut.
I've tried in recent months to talk the kids into doing something for July 4th again. It wouldn't be at our home since I'm in a ninth floor apartment and Jerry is in a nursing home, but the kids both have houses. I've been yearning to do something... anything really... to bring back some semblance of happiness to this day.
In the meantime, we parents (my boys' dad and stepmom, and me... Jerry wasn't feeling well so stayed at the nursing home) got together at the cemetery and each launched a balloon in Jeff's memory. (Mine in the photo.)
I have lots more to play catch-up about. I hadn't meant to take this long to get back to my blog, but then I realized it was the close timing of this day that kept stopping me. I'll be back!