i always knew, he fought for me…

You cannot love a thing without wanting to fight for it

G. K. Chesterton

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My dad was a quiet man who loved big fireworks.

I miss him on the 4th of July.

When it was dark enough, with his carefully selected box of fireworks in hand, Dad would walk to the end of our driveway and set up his “area”.  I was not allowed in this “area” because, you know, it wasn’t safe.

Other dads from the block, most WWII veterans like himself, would walk to the end of their driveways with their boxes too.  And then the great fireworks show began.  I suspected, even at a young age, there was some type of competition going on.  And if it was a competition, my dad won because everyone ended up in front of our house for his grand finale.

Finally, when he put a sparkler in each of my hands, in my friends’ hands, and lit them, we would jump and holler and run around like raving lunatics.  And then we had ice cream.

I miss him on the 4th of July.

Bob and Brooke

About two months before he died, hospice workers honored him for his military service.  It’s what they do for every veteran they serve.

I made cupcakes.  We tried to make it a party.  He was sweet and appreciative, because that’s who he was to his core.  But he didn’t understand what they were doing.

He didn’t remember he’d been a soldier.  Or a husband, or a brother, or a friend.

He didn’t remember he’d been a great dad.

But I do.

I miss him on the 4th of July.

 

 

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Slideshow of an Alaskan 4th of July memory, when Dad came to visit…

 

 

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