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Mum likes reading, decorating, shopping with the girls, and Starbucks. She also feels funny writing in the 3rd person. Papa (also known as Sparky) is currently looking at me with a blank stare having asked him to add something about himself to the blog. (Now he wants to say something) The only thing he loves more in life than music and Coke is his wife and kids. (Awww...) :) Little Lotte is a genius on the computer and makes me fall over laughing every day with her quick wit. She loves computers and animals. Sweet Pea abandoned her family and moved to Phoenix for work and is now married as of 2/28/06. She is beautiful and smart and the most nurturing person I know. She gave me the greatest gift ever when she made me a grandmother. I am the proud Mum Mum to Andrew Christopher. There are no words to describe the joy of having a grandson!

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Independence Day

July 4th has always felt more like New Year’s than Independence Day to me. Every year, standing in the spot on top of the parking garage at the U of A, I reflect back on the year. The changes that have occurred, the hopes I have for the following year.

I think that may have started about 10 years ago. We went to San Diego for vacation over the long weekend holiday. We stopped in LaJolla for the 4th of July display in the park. We had front row seats to the ocean and the fireworks. It was thrilling! About halfway through, in between some spectacular shells being lit, I started people watching. There was a young mother sitting very near to us. She had two small children and she seemed to be watching them more than the fire in the sky, smiling as her babies played tag with each other, stopping in awe to look at the fireworks ever now and then. I looked closer and saw a beautiful headscarf enveloping her head. She had no hair. Her eyes were sunken. It was obvious she had lost her hair due to treatment. Had the disease I fear the most in life taken over her young life? Although Independence Day is about remembering those who have fought in wars, this mother was fighting her own war. Cancer.

Yes, I would be enjoying my children more than the sky as well. What a smart women. They grow up so fast and then it’s over... just like that. I was terrified for her. Would she be here next year to enjoy another fireworks display with her babies? Was she thinking about just getting through day to day so she can spend as much time with her children as possible?

The following year, we were back at the parking garage. And every year since then, I offer up a thank you to the heavens for letting me be here another year to be with my babies. I can’t help but reflect back over the past year, the hopes we had, the firsts we had (first graduation, first crush, first trip overseas) As the years go on, there are more lasts than firsts. Last Christmas at home all together, last meal together as a family of four, last night with all of the bedrooms of my house filled.

Ten years later (last night) I wasn’t fighting a war but I was raging a battle. This is the first year that Sweet Pea isn’t with us. She graduated (oddly enough from the University of the parking garage where were watch the fireworks) and moved out in the last two weeks. I thought about the young mother but I also reflected back on the times that Sweet Pea was with us. All those memories rushed at me in-between the bursts of red, white and blue. I ...miss... her... so... much.

They are with us and then it’s over - just-like-that.

As the fireworks came to a frenzied close and we did the appropriate ooohhhh’s and aaaahhhh’s, we climbed back into the car, one seat empty in the back. The fireworks were over just like that.

My husband turned to me and said, “Wasn’t that great?”

Yes, honey, it was.......great.

Happy Independence Day, Sweet Pea.


Blogger sweet pea said...

You made me cry! Sometimes it is hard to remember in all of the excitement of all my firsts that there are so many lasts for those around me. I know that in sweet, poetic justice, I too will someday endure these same trials, so for now I will enjoy my firsts uninhibited and secure in the knowledge that later in life, you get to stick your tongue out at me and say soemthing along the lines of "told Ya So." ;-)

Love you Momma!

12:43 AM  

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