Sunday, July 11, 2010

His Father's Fireworks

(July 7, 2009)

I never got to meet my father-in-law.

He passed away very suddenly in 1997, a year before I met my husband.

I've seen photos of him, I've even seen some rare video of him, but my entire idea of him is completely dependent on the stories I hear about him.

I love, love, love listening to my husband talk about his Dad, or listening to him and his sisters exchange memories.

It's bitter-sweet for me. I love hearing about him, but I grieve over never having met him.

This 4th of July (5th actually, but we were celebrating the 4th), I was in for a rare treat......

My late father-in-law had apparently purchased a load of fireworks the year before he died. The fireworks had been sitting in a tin box in storage since his passing. When my husband and I purchased our first home, he took the fireworks with us and stashed them in our shed.

On Sunday, my husband gathered the family and gave them the show his Dad meant to give them.....all those years ago.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous of my husband lighting 13 year old fireworks, but apart from 2 or 3 duds, they worked spectacularly!

Snakes, UFO’s and other names I can’t remember lit the black sky with bright and wild colors. The occasional rogue missile kept everyone on their toes. Sparklers were lit and handed to the grandchildren my father-in-law never got to meet. And yet here they were….holding something solid and wonderful in their hands that he purchased so long ago. It was brilliant…with a hint of melancholy.

The grand finale was something called a dessert mountain.

It was big, it was beautiful…and just when we thought the show was over…it produced one final (and quite surprising) bang.

We could hardly contain our laughter.

My father-in-law definitely knew how to put on a good show.

I’ve seen it with my own eyes...

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