Happy 4th of July, Independence Day

English: The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra p...

English: The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra performing at the Hatch Shell in Boston. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops

Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops via last.fm

When I was growing up, every 4th of July, my family would be glued to the television set to hear the Boston Pops and to watch the fireworks burst and boom on our television set. It was a tradition set in our middle-class red brick apartment building in Queens.

We were the last family in the neighborhood to get a color television set. I had already glimpsed the wonder after seeing The Wizard of Oz at my friend’s house and still remember the feeling of awe, not knowing there was color in the movie.

My parents finally bought a color tv during the Olympics after seeing Dorothy Hamill skate like a swan at our dear friend’s house.  I “worked” for Lore for many summers in her gourmet chocolate shop, oh, I KNEW my chocolates!  She sent me care packages in college, she spoiled me but most of all, she always understood me, my fellow Libra. I miss her every day.

My dad loved to watch soccer, he would yell and scream at the television enthusiastically, you could hear him shout from any room. He also loved watching any type of ceremony: parades, marching bands and all celebrations.

Yesterday, I talked to my best friend and after and we hung up, I reached for the phone to call my dad. I wasn’t feeling sad or morose, it just seemed natural until I remembered that he has been dead for a very long time.

Fireworks July 4th Independence Day 2013 Polo ...

Fireworks July 4th Independence Day 2013 Polo Field Fort Sill Oklahoma (24) (Photo credit: HiRez Dude Colin Henderson ch@cnhender.com)Today, July 3rd,

Sometimes, I will watch a show or listen to music that I know my dad would love, it makes me feel like we’re listening to it together.

A memory just popped into my head: the first bad heart attack my dad had, had been on Father’s Day when my son was 6 months old yet he refused to go to the hospital until I was so upset I started crying.  My mom and I took him to the Emergency Room. My father’s complexion was pasty and green and I remember he was sweating but he never clutched his heart, he just felt a little unwell.

After blood tests, the young, snippy doctor told him “he was a very, very sick man.” And, he was, he needed quadruple by-pass surgery which back then was definitely out of the ordinary.

My husband and I had a six month old son that I had never been away from but I was the one who stayed so I could help my mom and be near my dad.  I hate driving in the city but being with my dad was just too important than my own fears.

Luckily, my father was able to be transferred to the city for the complicated  operation and my mom and I waited in the hospital for 7 hours.  Saying good luck to my dad right before the operation, was one of the hardest, most gut wrenching things I have ever done and I know he felt the same way. Don’t let anyone tell you NOT to cry, it’s really okay.

It felt like a hammer was breaking my heart in pieces. Thank G-d it was a success and he lived many years after that.  It occurred to me today my dad was allowed to go home from the hospital on July 4th, Independence Day. I remember making a sign for him.

Mending a Broken Heart

Mending a Broken Heart (Photo credit: Free Grunge Textures – http://www.freestock.ca)

Certainly, it was a day to celebrate.

 

 

Yellow Magic Madness # 21: Fireworks

English: A chocolate cake during the 4th of July

English: A chocolate cake during the 4th of July (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In keeping with the Fourth of July, here in the States:

Red, White, Blue (and Yellow)

HAPPY JULY 4 th.

English: fireworks seen across the at Washingt...

English: fireworks seen across the at Washington, D.C., USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have a safe and wonderful weekend.

Playing Archery In The Dark, Buck Naked

Cover pain

Cover pain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just kidding. I’m about to emote and perhaps complain and I thought it was a catchy title which somehow worked it’s way inside my brain out of nowhere. It’s the evening of the fourth of the July and I am feeling lonely and uncomfortable. The high point of my day is hearing the thunderstorms outside. It’s hot, about 80 percent humidity and I feel like an old woman with my joints (not THOSE kind of joints) swollen and my muscles tense and painful.

I know my fellow Fibromyalgia mates feel the same way but it doesn’t make me feel better. Everything hurts, I can barely stand up without extreme effort. I am in pain both physically and emotionally.

I think I hate holidays more than I ever have. I used to love them when the children were young and when my dad was alive and when my sister and I used to get along better. Now? They are just a painful reminder of all that I don’t have. Holidays seem to bring the worst out of everybody, senses over stimulated, emotions seem raw.

I have a sister who seems like she is just a few miles from estranged, we talk once in a while but we can never agree or love each other for who we are. It’s a shame, I know, but our history is not in our favor. We try to keep it together for our mother. It works both ways. It just reaffirms everything we are not.

I miss our dad who has been dead for a very long time. He loved this holiday, he would swing a fake pointer and pretend to be the orchestra conductor; the Macy’s Fireworks would light up his bedroom concert hall. I couldn’t even watch it on television this year, it made me too sad.

Time moves on, I can accept not liking certain holidays. I know that both my children are leaving for college in the fall. I know I am not young anymore and that my chin droops from where I have lost weight.

I am grateful for what I do have: a loving husband, two great kids, a crazy puppy, my mom and plenty of friends that I trust and rely on. One can’t have everything. A friend suggested I copy this to remember:

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Snail Mail

Sheriff's Badge

Image via Wikipedia

WHEN THE WORLD WAS A BRIGHTER PLACE…..

 

I sent a handwritten letter with photographs of my children to a wonderful man, earlier this month. We adore this gentleman and I dubbed him The Sheriff, many years ago when we lived in a small suburb of Boston. The Sheriff, and his wife Louise lived down the hill from us on a cul de sac. My children were young, 2 and 4, back then and The Sheriff was very much a part of our lives. He invited us to his July 4th bbq where my daughter sat on my husband’s shoulders, seeing fireworks for the first time, covering her ears and screaming. The Sheriff was invited to my son’s fourth birthday party and he arrived bearing a plastic green dinosaur that still lives lovingly in our basement; I cannot part with it.

I received a letter from Mr. and Mrs. Sheriff last week thanking us for the photos. The Sheriff was so touched we remembered him and that we still thought about him after all these years. We had kept in touch, though not often and once we even paid him a surprise visit but it had been a few years since we had communicated.

The two and four year old little kids he had known were now 16 and 18. When the children were young I bought a Sheriff’s badge for him and he wore it proudly; every time we ran into him he had it with him. It was plastic and silver and if it wasn’t attached to his shirt, he had it in his pocket. I know in my heart, he still has it, tucked away somewhere, in an old green address book or in the corner of a dusty bedside table. Even if it is missing in action he would never throw that sign of honor away. If we never saw him wear that badge again, he will always be The Sheriff to us, the one person who made the whole neighborhood “home.”

Dedicated to George

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