When Sheena was a little kid she HID from fireworks. For a couple years, Carol spent the evening in Sheena’s room playing with her on the night of the 4th. THEN Sheena decided she LIKED the explosions and flashes and I was only too willing to blow stuff up for her with M80s and M 1000s. We always had HUGE gatherings at our house, rain or shine I can remember tarping the whole back yard if it was raining, NOTHING was going to stop US.
We had croquet, badmitten and volleyball games and HUGE cookouts. Thirty or forty people ALL having a GREAT time. THEN we would all chip in and spend three or four hundred bucks on the biggest and LOUDEST fireworks the Indians had. We would be up till one AM blowing things into the air. WE were the annoying neighbors we all complain about now. One time I lit a little little rocket shaped rocket. it went up turned 90 degrees and headed right for Carol’s head. Luckily, she ducked just in time.
A few years ago, I broadcasted from the Les Davis Pier on the waterfront. Carol and I brought Sheena and her friend Natalie. We had free access to the pier and free food. It was a beautiful day with the airshow and stuff. That night I sat with Sheena right by the guy who was directing the fireworks show via radio. It was BEAUTIFUL, the BEST July 4th we ever had. EVER.
Since she was killed, I noticed that Carol always got kind of quiet around the 4th. The year after Sheena was killed on the THIRD of July Carol was VERY depressed. It was the year that a deer walked into the woods across the street from us. Carol was able to walk right up to her within about four feet. Then she, the deer that is, ran off across the street and into the woods. As she was running away our neighbor drove up and watched slack-jawed. He had lived there 60 years and NEVER saw a deer.
Carol and I were sitting on the porch talking and having coffee like we do EVERY day. Carol got quiet and then said ” I should probably just say this”. ANY guy who has been married knows that a sentence that starts like that usually doesn’t end well and strikes fear into our hearts. She said that she would very much like to NOT celebrate the 4th of July anymore. Besides Sheena’s birthday the 4th is the hardest day of the year for her. I agree. It IS a melancholy day of missing what we USED to do with Sheena and how much we miss her and her excitement and how much she LOVED all the games, food and fireworks. All Amy really likes about the 4th is her poppers. With Christmas, Amy is still like a little kid and is SO joyous about it all. But like other days, at Amy’s suggestion, we have started NEW “turditions”. I guess it’s time to move on with THIS day too. I ALSO think that beautiful, mysterious little deer was trying to tell us something. I’m going to listen.
This is but ANOTHER effect a drunk driver has had on our family. I guess I SHOULD write a lecture about not driving drunk. I won’t. I think this story speaks for itself. Make of it what you will. PLEASE have a happy and safe Independence day.