Remembering the 4th

I had big plans for several special 4th of July posts this week, but after today I will not be able to blog again until Monday.  I am going out of town to close on my house and won’t have internet access.  I warn you, I’m cramming everything into this one post.  It will be of record length.


You see last year at this exact time my grandfather was on his deathbed.  He managed to stretch out his last two weeks until the calendar month could hold no more days and spilled into the next.  He was a fighter holding out for the 4th, but he went home to meet his Lord face to face on July 2nd.  The above picture was taken last April when he asked me to come down to Georgia with my two kids.  Instinctively he knew his time was short.

DSCI0005-1At 93 he kept confusing his deathbed with his tractor.

1-May 2008 (4)With tears washing my face, I had these picture the kids drew overnighted praying they’d make it before he died.  He could have at least told me to save the $15 and send them parcel post because he wasn’t going to make a quick escape!

100_0800If at all possible, he would have made it 103.  During World War II, my grandfather proudly served as in the 82nd. Airborne Division.  He was missing in action, presumed dead, and a prisoner of war who eventually returned home with a case full of medals.

July 5, 2008

July 5, 2008

I don’t have an ounce of the courage he had.


me&kelAlthough I like to think wearing my oversized shades was a very Jacki-O thing to do, I couldn’t see out of them.  They were not prescription!  My brother also wore his shades.  Either hiding our grief behind dark lenses is a family trait or we were hoping to be recruited by the secret service.

The FringeBanker & his Family

The FringeBanker & his Family

Memorial service for GWSpear, July 5, 2008 (62)This is my cousin Dennis, we’ll call him FringeForce and my not so blood brother Orlando.  He’s a New York City boy gone Kentucky.  You should hear him talk now.  It’s a mixture of Spanglish, Queens, and the South.  You need a dictionary, translator, and listening device to understand him.

100_0777Because we knew my grandfather would not have wanted us to spend all our time together mourning his death, we instead celebrated his life on the 4th of July.  Nothing was more appropriate than fire-works.   Fireworks are illegal in New York, because in New York everything fun is either outlawed or taxed; however, we drove past the Wal-Mart Superstore of fireworks somewhere in Virginia.  So with a quick call to waiting family, we let them know we were running late, but were coming armed with explosives.  They couldn’t have been happier!

100_0765It turned into a show reminiscent of the 3 Stooges doing fireworks.  The stooges being FringeMan, FringeBanker, and FringeForce.  To my aunt’s utter dismay… it was her house…

Aunt Pat, FringeForce's mother - not a flattering picture

Aunt Pat, FringeForce's mother - not a flattering picture

they started no less than 4 fires.  Who knew the drought was so bad?

My Brother & My Niece

My Brother & My Niece

We prayed the neighbor’s car insurance was paid up and laughed till our sides hurt.



That night is one of my son’s best memories.  He’s still enamored by the fact that FringeForce not only singed all the hair off his leg, but burned a hole in the bottom of his sneaker.

100_0760These men were really quite dangerous with small explosives.

FringeForce's wife Chrissy & Orlando

FringeForce's wife Chrissy & Orlando

If only the evening’s shenanigans were videotaped, we could have won America’s Funniest Home Videos.  I think we did better than that, we paid tribute to a man we loved, admired, and will never forget – George W. Spear Sr.

Uncle Wayne the Pain & Aunt Maria

Uncle Wayne the Pain & Aunt Maria

A Person I Admire by FringeBoy

Did you know that my Great Granpa was a war hero?  This is why I admire my Great Grandpa.  He was a war hero.  He fought in the war.  He was captured in the war.  After the war, he was set free.  He never gave up work.  Even thought he was 91 turning 92, he still worked in his vegetable garden.  He never gave up ’till the day he died.

I have a good memory with him in it, almost everybody from my mom’s side was there.  It was the fourth of July and we were shooting fireworks.  It was really, really fun.

This is who I admire.

Thank you.  This post was for me.

PS  The Eco Store Give-Away will be open through the weekend.  The winner will be announced on Tuesday.  Enter HERE.  See you all on Monday with the story of how FringeMan and I met, dated, and ultimately wed.


25 thoughts on “Remembering the 4th

  1. Pingback: In Lieu of Red, White, and Blue « the domestic fringe

  2. Pingback: The 4th Deserves a Tribute | the domestic fringe

  3. Erin

    You’ve got me all choked up and first thing in the morning. More than a little piece of beauty here.

    Have a great fourth. Bring a fire extinguisher with you this time!

  4. diana/sunshine

    sounds like quite the celebration. i hope this year was just as fun.

    it’s nice hearing how much your grandfather meant to you and your family. makes me think that i should do something similar… just for me. thanks for sharing.

  5. Dani Joy

    HILARIOUS about the fire works!!!

    But serious! Your Grandfather was an amazing man. I wonder if he knew my husband´s grandfather. He is now 94. He too is a war hero. What these men had to endure!

    look forward to how you and fringe man met. 🙂

  6. Debbie York

    This is why I keep coming back…tears and laughter! You are raising your children well in spite of cotton candy. Fringeboy is following in your footsteps with the writing talent…and the ability to make me cry.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Woo Hoo! Closing on the house!
    P.S. Never apologize for a long post…we got a lot to say!

  7. Debra Cripps

    That’s a lovely tribute for your grand dad. You seem to have a wonderful family.

    Good luck for your house!

  8. robinaltman

    That was just lovely. Your family is a lot of fun. I think I’ll fit in just fine when you adopt me. (In case you were worried.)

    Your grandfather looked like as awesome guy. I’ll think of him and his sacrifices for this country as I watch the fireworks on Saturday. Good luck with the house!

  9. Ginnie

    The post may have been for you but thanks for sharing it with the rest of us. It was a beautiful tribute!

  10. Jo@Mylestones

    WONDERFUL tribute to your grandfather. I absolutely loved FringeBoy’s piece too. What an amazing legacy he’s left for his family and what heroic good he’s done for his country!

  11. angie

    Good luck with the closing, and that is one fine tribute to a REAL American! You “done” your PawPaw proud.

    PS Fringe + fire is a bad mix. 🙂

  12. Mindy

    Tricia! I am so glad to hear how important family is to you. The tractor pic might be my fav. What a heck of a man. Fringeboy’s tribute is so sweet. Family, the 4th of July, fires and fun. Does life get better? Happy house closing! ~Mindy

  13. Hat Chick

    What a beautiful tribute to a war hero and family man. His kind of values and courage are what made America great.

    Good luck on your hosue closing… pictures, please.

  14. David

    I was doing ok until I read FringeBoy’s tribute to his great grandpa. There should have been a Kleenex warning. What an awesome man! I am grateful for his service to our country. Thanks for the great post!


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