The arrival of today means that the second anniversary of his death is only three days away.
I had a difficult time getting to sleep last night. It was actually in the wee hours of this morning before I fell asleep.
I think July 4th was Keith's favorite "American" holiday. He loved the cookouts and fireworks. The fireworks were his absolute favorite.
His love for fireworks has been passed along to Nick.
Yesterday, Nick and I went to buy fireworks. Ok...I know that this does not sound like a big deal, but for me it was and still is a little bit.
For the majority of our time together, Keith's love of fireworks was quite obvious. His extended family lives in south Alabama and Georgia. There is a huge fireworks warehouse that is open year round about an hour or so from Keith's grandparents house. Every trip we made down there, Keith would make a visit to that fireworks store. It would not be anything for Keith to come back loaded down with a few hundred dollars worth of fireworks. Yes, you read that right. When we couldn't get down there, Keith asked his parents to buy some and haul them home.
When he went, he would be gone for hours. He knew what the best deals were for the money. He knew what kind of show each one would provide. He knew how loud the report would be. He tried to teach me. I listened some. I wish now I had listened more...
So, for that few hundred dollars, we would have TONS of fireworks. Keith would be able to put on a really nice show and satisfy his need to blow things up. ;-)
July 4, 2009 was the first year that Keith could not blow up fireworks. My mom and Nick shot off the best of the best of Keith's collection, while Keith and I sat on the porch, holding hands, and the oxygen generator humming in the background. All the while KNOWING that THIS was HIS LAST FAVORITE holiday.
Keith died on July 7, 2009.
July 4, 2010 the kids and I went out to my mom's house. We did the cookout. We shot fireworks. She helped Nick again and I helped a little. Her neighbor helped Nick too. We finished off the best of the best of Keith's collection. I cried. The close of the first year without Keith was closing in upon me...fast.
July 4, 2011 is here. I took Nick to buy fireworks yesterday. We don't have any of his dad's best of the best left. Nick really wants to put on a show...just like his dad. So, we go into a large fireworks store. I don't have enough of a clue to know what the best deal for the money is. Again...I wish I had paid more attention. A really nice man came up and asked if we needed help. I said yes and told him what we were looking for. He worked really hard to give me the best deal for my money. I didn't spend the money that Keith always did, but I don't have it to spend now either.
Nick is thrilled with what I bought yesterday. He can't wait until we go out to Mom's house this afternoon for a cookout and then fireworks. Nick is ready to see what we bought. He is ready to step into the shoes his dad left behind. I'm not ready to let Nick step into the role of fireworks boss. I'm probably going to have to man up and help fill the role of teaching Nick the in's and out's of blowing things up.
I wish you all a very, blessed, happy and safe July 4th!
As always, we remain...
In His Grip!