Reflections on Independence Days past

I’m here with my mom on Independence Day, reflecting on other years when I’ve spent this holiday in Prescott.

It was Fourth of July weekend five years ago when I first brought Mike to meet my parents. My sister and her three kids, and my brother Bruce and his wife, were also visiting at the time, so Mike met most of my family all at once. He hit it off immediately with my nieces, spending hours with them sculpting dinosaurs out of Playdoh. When we all went to see the fireworks together, Mike held my mom’s arm and helped her walk slowly across the uneven field. One night he stayed up late talking to my dad, and I was worried that the conversation would turn to politics and become contentious. But when he came downstairs to kiss me goodnight, Mike was beaming. “I love talking to your dad!” he said. “It’s like all the best parts of talking to my dad.” In just a few days, he’d become part of the family.

The next year Mike and I took the kids to the Grand Canyon, and we spent a few days with my folks in Prescott. We’d only been living together for about four months, so I was still finding my way into my role with the kids… and I’ve always felt that trip, our first vacation with the kids, was when we became a family. I remember the little stuffed donkey we bought Sean at the Grand Canyon, which he carried everywhere, and Aja clutching my arm when a sudden summer storn arrived with a loud clap of thunder. I remember Mike sneaking a kiss while we grilled burgers on the deck, and watching the fireworks all together, and the way it made me smile when a grocery store clerk assumed I was Mrs. Curry. We made a lot of good memories on that trip.

I’m grateful for the memories, which are all I have left… especially now that the kids’ mother won’t let me see them anymore. I remind myself to treasure every minute I have with those I love, because you never know when time will run out.

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~ by hourbeforedawn on July 4, 2010.

3 Responses to “Reflections on Independence Days past”

  1. Lira, I had no idea that the kids’ mom wont let you see them. I am so sorry you are going through this. I wish there was something that I could do to take all of this pain away. Know that I love you my friend and think of you daily!

  2. No way – you can’t see the kids??!!! I’m really pissed off for you. I hope this is temporary. Also, it won’t be long before the kids will be old enough to make their own minds about who they want to hang out with – and will be able to get to you on their own. Hang in there about those great kids…you belong together in some funky way and there will be a way for you all to get time together. I’ll pray for a change of heart in their mom – she must doing some weird grieving of her own. But still!!!! Grrrr.

  3. sh*t, on that last paragraph. People stink, stupid clutching boogers.

    My step-son lived with us, turned 18 the day after his dad died, and was swept up by his mother’s family (craziness all in itself), and moved out of state. It’s not that he’s forbidden to talk to me, just he is certainly not encouraged, to put it most gently. Lots of old animosity there from that side that we were so excited to be free of, that very next day.
    It is his usual way to deal with life by slipping into a fantasy world/pretending everything is fine, and he has not spoken to anyone in our family for just over 9 months, not me, or his grandfather with whom we spent a lot of time. I know he’s in pain, I understand he’s actually being somewhat age-appropriate, but still – to have lost my partner unexpectedly, then lose the other surviving human member of our family – sucks. All I can do is love him, let him know I’m still here, that we are still family, and that no matter how long it is before I hear from him, he is stuck with me.

    Kids know love, and they know b.s., even when they’re young.

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