Born the 4th of July in 1913, my grandmother, Amy Thompson, would have celebrated her 100th birthday this year. Sadly, she passed away about three and a half years ago and the Fourth has never been the same.
July 4th babies possess great fortune. Who wouldn’t want every birthday with a celebration of fireworks at the end of the day? A day when the good majority of Americans enjoy the day off. A day filled with food, family, parades, and fun.
Mamaw truly exhibited the qualities of a firework. She could catch you by surprise with her wit. Her presence lit up a room. No doubt she had a bit of a temper, although I certainly didn’t see that part very often. Her passing leaves me in awe of a life well spent.
Every Independence Day that rolled around held no doubt what our family would do. We enjoyed our time together in various places over the years; sometimes at my aunt’s and uncle’s and sometimes at the house of the cousin Mamaw helped raise. Good food, homemade ice cream, fishing, games, and everyone in red, white, and blue. I treasure fond memories of truly magical days.
I struggle to recapture that magic. A new normal will emerge in time, but for now the day just doesn’t hold the same gusto it once did. Even with all of the other factors present, there will always be something missing.
What a joy to be her namesake and to try to carry on the wonderful legacy she left behind.
We all miss you, Mamaw. And your coconut pie, chocolate pie, banana pudding, fried potatoes (are you sensing a theme?), warm hugs, sweet words, and steady faithfulness. Happy 100 to the greatest firework anyone could know!
*And, Mamaw, please forgive me of connecting you to Katy Perry. I know you wouldn’t have approved of her, but the reference was too appropriate to pass up.