I love it way more than Christmas.
I love it the same as my birthday which is saying a lot.
I have such fond memories of it growing up.
My family lived about quarter mile from where the fireworks were set off.
And we lived near loads of farmland so we had a great view of the show.
So each summer, we invited family, friends, and church friends over to our house for a huge BBQ.
It was so much fun.
It was such a relaxing good party.
I even have one memory of kissing a silly boy as the fireworks went off.
I also spent almost each one from sixth grade to my senior year with my good friend Andrea.
It was tradition.
I also love that there are no presents involved with this holiday.
No fear of giving the wrong gift.
No fear of receiving the wrong gift.
There is no pressure.
Just good fun.
Hanging out with good people enjoying life.
Enjoying the goodness of summer.
Last year was one of the last times many of our friends saw Roger.
At least saw him in a relaxing out of work/school environment.
It was the first time many of our friends saw our wedding albums.
It was about six weeks before the accident.
Sadly, I did not take many pictures.
God, I wish I would have.
I actually cannot find any of him from that day.
It was so much fun though.
We were over the wedding and starting to get into the 'married' rhythm.
Our neighborhood does a huge show and festival each year.
We invited about twenty people to our house but ended up with about fifty.
Which was perfect for me but I remember Roger being shocked.
"I thought this was going to be small-ish," he said as we were buying the food.
"It was suppose to be. I am not sure what happened," I said with a sheepish grin.
Roger just sighed.
But he loved the big party.
Mr. I-am-not-social had fun.
He even talked about next year.
We had tons of food.
I made a huge cheesecake from scratch.
I made some table clothes too.
I was being all wife-like.
We all sat/stood too close to the fireworks and got some debris on us.
Yes we were in front of the 'Caution' tape instead of the legal part.
But that is Roger.
I loved every minute of it.
It was the second time we had hosted the party together.
The first time at the 'new' house.
Six weeks later, he left me.
Left me to celebrate both our favorites alone.
I am hosting the party myself this year.
Well, alone with our friends.
But without Roger.
And although I am excited, I am a bit sad.
This is our event.
We did two parties a year - Halloween and Fourth of July. His favorite and my favorite.
And he is not here to enjoy it.
My favorite holiday and he is not here.
Last year, I had the menu planned by this point.
I had started looking at decorations.
This year I am having trouble getting started beyond sending an evite.
I am starting to get anxious and scared too.
How will I feel?
Will I be okay?
The good ol' anticipation monster is rearing his head.
I keep reminding myself the monster is worse than the actual event.
I know this. I have experienced this over and over again.
But I know I will miss him.
I will miss having lists of things to do for him.
I will miss seeing him at the grill.
I will miss him asking me if I need anything else from the grocery store.
I will miss him being right about needing more things like plates.
I will miss us as a couple as I watch all my friends.
I will miss him as the fireworks light up the night sky.
I also know what this means.
It means August is around the corner.
It means it has been almost a year.
It means I have been unmarried for even longer than I was married.
It means his birthday is coming up.
It means his burial* is coming soon.
But I want to have this party.
I want to keep moving forward.
I will be disappointed in myself if I succumb to life's challenges.
And I know my wonderful friends will hold me up.
They will make the day the holiday I love.
*I will blog about this soon.
When I can find the words.