Missing family on the Fourth
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
As I write this, it sounds so predictable to me. But you know what? The Fourth of July makes me miss my family.
I’m thinking about the time my brother let off those big fireworks ” the kind you can only get in certain states or Native American reservations ” in the middle of our suburban town. Let’s just say we ran back inside the house at a clip.
Other things come forward, too, like memories of barbecues and baseball games at my grandmother’s house. But what’s really sticking with me is Independence Day 2005.
I was so sick and lost then. I had just graduated college and broken up with a boyfriend, and I had no idea where I was headed. I didn’t try to hide my funk. My parents and brother and I were all up in Mendocino, Calif., the kind of sleepy coastal town that makes Carbondale look bustling. It’s also drop dead gorgeous ” but it wasn’t enough to wake me up.
In my haze, I walked with my folks the couple of blocks to watch the parade. It was your typical small town thing, with a nice hit of Northern California wackiness, too. Nestled amongst the little league floats and politicians’ cars was a truck filled up entirely with women named Susan (there must have been eight or in Mendocino at the time). Skipping behind them was an older guy, dressed in a bikini and holding a sign that read “A Man for All Susans.”
I remember my dad laughing powerfully, and I’m sure my mom was beaming. That’s the kind of crazy liberation they’re always ready to support. And for a few moments, I joined right in with them. It would be months before I would feel that good again. But right then, I felt like a part of things, and I surged with pride for that community and my family. It was like I was peeking into the world of possibility and ” dare I say it ” I felt free.
Tonight, I have no idea what I’m doing or where I’ll be. I wish for myself the same thing I wish for everyone reading this. I hope, somehow, we all get a similar whiff of liberty. And who knows where it will come from?
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Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or firstname.lastname@example.org