by Fran McNabb
Next weekend is Independence Day weekend. July 4th. For most people the holiday means vacations, picnics, boating, and fireworks displays in honor of our country’s birthday. That day means the same to me but it also has much more meaning filled with nostalgia and emotions.
When I was a child (many, many years ago), my family lived about two blocks off front beach on the Gulf Coast. Fourth of July was a wonderful holiday for us children. Families would walk
Today I look back at those days and realize how wonderful they were. Times were simpler. Lives were more intertwined with other people in our small community. We didn’t live in an exclusive part of town. Most of our neighbors were hard-working laborers in jobs connected with the seafood industry. Mine were as well. We weren’t rich, but we didn’t know it.
The Fourth also meant another thing to our family. It was my only brother’s birthday. Sometimes during the day we would have a party for him with a cake baked in Mom’s small kitchen. That evening as we walked down to the beach I’d always have to listen to him tell everyone it was his birthday and the fireworks were for him. I’d argue and say they weren’t and sometimes we’d end up exchanging a few brotherly-sisterly knocks.
My brother is no longer with us and it’s on days like the Fourth that his memories come rushing back to me. We had some wonderful times together and I love reliving them in my mind. Like all people who have lost loved ones, we long for one more moment with them. Everyone has his own days that those memories are strongest. Mine is the Fourth of July.
Enjoy the fireworks, remember the meaning of our country behind the Fourth, but most importantly enjoy the friends and family you share the day with. They are what makes our special days “special.”
Happy Fourth of July to all of you (next weekend).