17 July 2008

Fourth of July

Thirty-four days after Grace died, I got it in my head that we needed to get out of the house and we needed to go to Riverfront park and we needed to take Carver and Sophia to the Fourth of July Fireworks show. We brought a blanket, we brought snacks, and we sat on the grass looking up at the sky watching the fireworks. And I remember just staring at them, listening to the crackling and kabooms and looking at all the people around me, hundreds, a thousand or more people, and feeling lost in a sea of strangers.

Tears were streaming down my face, and Sophia was buried in my arms terrified at age two of the noise the fireworks were making. And Terry was holding Carver who was mesmerized by them. There were people everywhere, eating cotton candy, drinking icees, and I had never felt more lonely, more alone than in that moment, the sky above lit up and somewhere out there was Grace among the fireworks, lost in the air, and I couldn't reach for her, I couldn't save her from the sounds, I couldn't cover her ears.

And five years have passed, and just a few nights ago, we sat under the stars, on the same grass watching what could have been the same fireworks and it was a beautiful and glorious site, mesmerizing, transformative and Sawyer at two was on my lap and I was covering his ears and I buried my face against him and I said a prayer in thanks for his sweet, sticky self, for the way the icee was spilled all over his shirt, stuck between his fingers, and his hair hard and cracking from the sugar, a sweet, sweet taste of life and love.