July has been a tough month the past few years. (The Why of July) This July though, is going to pack a different punch. I have felt it coming the past few days, and by the tears and misbehavior the kiddos have been showing, their hearts must sense it too. It’s always been funny to me how your soul remembers the day is coming, even when your mind isn’t thinking about it.
|Grandpa and Ben|
It started with the day of my sweet Grandpa’s home going, the 4th of July. A perfectly fitting day, since he was one of the most patriotic men I know. Then it was Ellianna’s passing on the 14th of July. It’s hard to go through that day without remembering the devastating events that took place. This year, the 2nd of July will be another day of mixed emotion. July 2nd is the day I became a big sister. My brother Ben came into the world 29 years ago on my mom’s birthday. Being so close to Independence Day, it was natural that the 4th became an extension of his birthday, and his favorite holiday. He waited all year long for the opening of the first firework stands. Each year, his own firework show grew, to the point where he was having them shipped from the places who supply professional shows, and his small town of Sterling brought a crowd each year to enjoy his masterpiece.
This July will be a salty-sweet month of grief and celebration. We will be remembering and honoring our precious ones that are absent, and celebrating the moments that we enjoyed with each of them. We will cheer my little sister as she begins life with her new husband, while quietly sorrowing over the empty chair.
We are immeasurably thankful that we do not grieve without hope. We know where our loved ones are, held close, and surrounded by joy and healing. We will miss them in our celebrations this July, but we will fondly replay our happiest memories, and whisper prayers of thanks for their salvation.
I hope that somewhere in Heaven there is a firework show like none Ben has ever seen…
|Pyro…yep, that’s about right.|
|My first ever attempt at a “fancy” cake was for Ben.
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