Friday, July 3, 2009

On Breathing:

Most everyone in the USA are getting ready for a holiday weekend. Tomorrow is July Fourth or our Independence Day. Fireworks and fire crackers have been going off despite the rainy weather. Parades with people in raincoats even on some of the band instruments. A soggy holiday we are having here. No, not in the whole country. There are places where the sun is shining I am sure.

I turn inward at this time of year. Once upon a time I was one of the first to be out with my flag flying and the barbeque all fired up. I’d go to the fireworks shows and sing the national anthem proud. Not that I don’t feel proud to be an American, because I do. My flag still flies even though no one drives by my house to see it. (I live on a place that is back behind some other properties on a dead end road in the country.)

For me it is timing. My son died two days after July Fourth, ten years ago. As others celebrate around me I go into mourning. I go to the cemetery and clean off his grave, refresh the flowers and pull the weeds. People will be coming to the cemetery to see the flags flying over the graves of the veterans. I want his resting place to look nice and cared for. He too is remembered although he never served his country in the military. No flag dresses his grave.

In his own way he served others. He helped the homeless and others in their time of need. He was giving, sharing and kind.

I miss him like the years have not been going by. Like when a light goes out in the kitchen. You feel like you can’t cook and clean as well with the space darkened in the night even if all the other lights are still on. There is a shadow where once there was light. I live with the shadows cast across my work space now.

I leave other to play under the fireworks and flairs. They barbeque and watch or march in the parades. They will gasp and sigh in thrill and wonder. I will be here in the shadows, clutching darkened air to me. Holding the nothingness of memories close to me. Remembering a life that breathes no more. And wondering how this much time could have past while I’ve been holding my breath.