My husband and I have had an annual date with our next door neighbors for three Fourth of Julys. We walk down to watch the free firework show from the coliseum and say hello. After, we say enjoy your night and see you next year.
It’s been a fun exchange we look forward to each year.
Yesterday, it was only the man sitting in his lawn chair on his sidewalk fiddling with his phone waiting for the light show to begin.
January 18, 2015, an ambulance and two firetrucks showed up to my neighbors two houses down door. His wife didn’t make it and I didn’t ask for specifics.
“I’m just trying to make it though, as they say life goes on,” he said. You could tell he wanted to talk about her. He missed her.
After an evening of drinking, it was a sobering moment.
After I returned to our garage I asked the Hubs what we were doing in January that we didn’t remember hearing a commotion.
It was a Sunday during football season and we were probably sitting at home watching the championship game. Why didn’t we hear anything?
Life is cruel. You assume when you tell an individual you’ll see them next year it will happen and when it doesn’t, it’s an eerie bone chilling realization that life is too precious to not appreciate its gift.
The few minutes we shared each year for the past two years and three fourth of Julys was one of the little things in life you’re told to appreciate. And I’m glad I didn’t take it for granted.
“It was great to see you, it wouldn’t have been our fourth of July without you.”
“Thanks, be sure to enjoy your evening.”
Until next year…