Happy 4th of July everyone, I hope everyone is having a good time at their BBQs or picnics or whatever it is that you do. For us, we’re heading off to my mother’s house for a big cook-out and after it gets dark, a fireworks show in the front yard.
But this is the last time that will happen and honestly, I’m pretty sad about that. See, I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. My father first let me start lighting fuses back when I was about 10 or so and my daughters have both been raised, not only to enjoy the fireworks, but to set them off as well, both younger than I was when I started. My mother happens to live in one of the very few cities around here that permits any kind of fireworks anymore so it’s always been the logical destination to go have some explosive 4th of July fun.
However, that’s ending. See, a couple of weeks ago, my mother’s boyfriend died of a heart attack and now she’s realizing that the house she’s lived in for 45 years is just too much for her to handle on her own. Her kids have moved away, her close friends and family members have either moved or passed on and she’s largely alone in a big house. She’s been thinking of moving for a while now, my sister and her husband have offered to help her move closer to them and in the past week, she has not only found a house around the block from them, she’s put in an offer, had it accepted and will be moving in at the end of July. Her real estate agent says she’ll have no problem selling her house for far more than she thought, more than enough to buy the new house outright and still have lots left over. Unfortunately, where she’s moving, fireworks are illegal. It’s great that she’s going to be closer to me, closer to my sister, where she can get help if she needs it and companionship when she wants it, but there’s something sad realizing that this is going to be the last year, probably in more than 40 years, that we’ll be able to set off fireworks on my own. My kids are crushed, they’ve been in charge of designing and igniting the annual family fireworks display for the last 6-7 years, but will never be able to again.
I hope everyone else has a great 4th, I know that I will, but it will be tinged with sadness too. It’s the last year of a long-time family tradition, one that I’m going to miss terribly.