The Fourth


I spent the most time with my dad in the summer when I wasn’t in school and I’ve been thinking about him a lot the last week.

Last year after my mom died I remember thinking forward to the holidays like I was going to prepare myself for war.  Thanksgiving and Christmas I knew were going to be rough times to handle since we always tried doing things with the four of us together whether that meant we go somewhere or we stay home.  The one who kept us all together and on track and fed us regardless if we deserved to be fed good eats was not with us any longer.

I think amidst the routine of school, handling other life stuff, and then having this countdown in the back of my head until Thanksgiving and Christmas to deal with I forgot about other holidays.  Like Halloween.

Halloween tore me up emotionally and I was totally not expecting it.

Halloween was one of the most fun and exciting holidays that held a lot of childhood memories for me that revolved mostly around my mom.  A lot of it too was the “first” feeling.  The first day back at school, the first exam celebration, the first everything since she died.

I wanted to buy fireworks this year but I didn’t want to do it “single and alone” style as I told my friend Sheila I roped into going with me to the fireworks stand.  I didn’t know why I felt the urge to do fireworks this year, besides the very obvious reason that I love to blow some shit up legally,  so I just went with it.

The parachutes, the missiles, the firecrackers. All of dad’s favorites.

I remember turning to Sheila and telling her it felt oddly weird.  The first time doing fireworks without dad and I felt extremely unsupervised.

I can’t venture to say if the 4th was dad’s favorite holiday or not, but I know he liked it a lot.  And though I may not have appreciated it in the past, I really appreciate now all the years and money dad (and mom and my brother) spent because they are some of the most fun memories I have with my dad.

So, to my neighbors – don’t mind me chasing the parachutes around my yard trying to catch them.  I’m doing it for dad, just like when I was a kid.

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I'm a twenty something learning to navigate the world.

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