I have always loved Independence Day. All that it means... all that the celebrations entail... it's just good times. Most of my memories of July 4ths gone by revolve around 2 things: ribs and fireworks.
Our very dear family friends, the Jenkinses, always had both. We spent countless July 4ths with them, and I was thrilled thrilled thrilled to have them join us at our cabin at Lake Rabun this year. They moved away many years ago, but they will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
The Grillmaster. Nobody does it better. I am not embarrassed to say that I consumed somewhat obscene amounts of pork products Thursday, nor am I ashamed to admit that I have been visiting my refrigerator in the dead of night to nibble on leftovers.
Our trip to the lake was somewhat hindered by the near-constant rain, but we got to spend time with many of our favorite people, light sparklers to substitute for the rescheduled lake display, and be grateful to enjoy the freedoms that we do.
I even got to pressure wash the boathouse with my daddy, despite everyone mocking me for doing so in my sparkly jeans. Whatevs. :-)
I really was expecting to spend more time thinking "This time last year, we were _________." But, somehow, I haven't been dwelling on the past as much as I imagined I would. The anniversary of Parker's near death hemorrhage came and went. Repair surgery anniversary came and went. Extubation came and went... I have been so busy sucking up every last minute of my boys that I just forget to think back to darker times. But the 4th of July week sticks out in my mind. Parker was finally out of the critical NICU, and we were on the road home. And then he had a really, really, really bad day. His IVs went back in. His oxygen got cranked back up to the maximum amount. It all turned out to be due to faulty respiratory equipment, but it was a huge setback that led to a MAJOR meltdown for me. We were headed to a 4th of July themed party, and sweet Mike sent me a text from the hospital: "All ready for the party, mom!"
And I just LOST IT. I was foul that my baby wasn't home yet, I was foul that the equipment had messed up, and I was foul that I was the one who had to figure out what the problem was. It was NOT. GOOD. TIMES. We spent our Independence Days as a broken family, and all I could do was hold onto hope that we would be together for the next one.
And we were.