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.
At 93 he kept confusing his deathbed with his tractor.
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!
If 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.
I don’t have an ounce of the courage he had.
Although 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.
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.
Because 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!
It 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…
they started no less than 4 fires. Who knew the drought was so bad?
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.
These men were really quite dangerous with small explosives.
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.
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.
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.