Starting typing this blog in the car on the way to Bret’s family’s home.
Sipping on my cold brew- can’t figure out if it tastes bad because I just brushed my teeth before leaving or if I accidentally poured root beer into my cold brew.
Who knows. Imma drink it anyways. Ya girl is tired.
Early Thursday evening
It’s fucking Thursday, no wonder I’m having trouble today!
The whole “mid week Friday” and holiday thing had me thinking that it wasn’t Thursday. It’s Thursday the curse.
We’ve been at Bret’s grandparents house with his whole family. To be honest, I’m surprised I haven’t cried. I was fairly emotional today.
Later in the evening/Late evening
Like, truly emotional. I woke up in a dark place, missing my grandma, and it spiraled from there, with me missing how my family would celebrate the holiday, how much I missed my grandma, my grandpa, I’ve spent most the mornings crying. I broke down over mac salad, something that apparently only northerners eat, which I sort of knew, but I also always had my grandma to call and talk to.
I didn’t, this year, nor did I spend it with them, as I have so many years. How many times did my sister and I, or even just me when she went to go stay with her dad instead, how many times did I spend the Fourth of July at my grandparents house?
Lots of times, that’s how many.
How many mornings did I wake to my grandparents prepping food already, my grandfather already cooking up the macaroni for the mac salad, my grandma smoking a cigarette, sipping her coffee, waiting for the potatoes to cool, so she could put together a very basic potato salad.
Grandpa and I would sneak potatoes and when Grandpa strained the macaroni, I would steal a noodle or two. After Grandpa mixed it all together, he would get me a little glass bowl of the mac salad, and I would try it. He and I would agree it needed more salt, and we would put it in the fridge to chill.
Grandma would grill white hots, red hots, (I hope anyone reading this knows what these are) and burgers, Sometimes, we grilled vegetables, sometimes we would add regular old hot dogs to it as well.
Sometimes, family members came over too, and we would all enjoy a lot of delicious food, blow off fireworks, and eat cake.
What kind of cake, you ask? A white cake, normally shortbread in variety, with whipped cream as frosting, with strawberries and blueberries making up stripes and stars for the cake, to make an American flag.
Grandma, born during a German air strike on London in WWII, was from England originally, so she always had the slight smile that all the British folk here in the states have, but she became a citizen, so she had that too. The slight amused smile of a British born woman who became an American citizen, drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, eating hot dogs, burgers, mac salad, and saying “Damn it, Charlie, you’re gonna blow your damn hand off!”
And we would all have watermelon. Ice cream. Soda. Us kids would play with sparklers, and my grandparents always stashed a bundle of the good color ones for me to play with after all my cousins left.
I have always hated summer, but I always had a good time when i went and spent it with my grandparents. Now my family is so far away. My mother and father are 12 hours away, my sister is as well, but hell, the 12 hours could be 12 planets, as far apart as we are from where we once were.
My grandpa is in some hospital, or elder care place, while they try and get his head on right.
Grandma’s been dead for just over seven months. Our matriarch.
I won’t get into reasons why it is hard to want to celebrate, for so many people, but I will say, I miss my family.
I miss my sister, my mom, my dad, my grandpa, grandma, hell even my cousins, aunts, uncles…
Never thought I would miss the whole lot of them.
Next time I see many of them, will be my grandfathers funeral. The last time I saw most of them was at Grandma’s. I have Bret, who makes up my immediate family now, but my family, the one I grew up with, is gone, spread apart or dead. I am alone.
Like I said, it has been hard to feel festive today. I have been a mess.
So, with me, waking up in this head space, crying, missing my grandmother….I got ready, Bret came home, and we went to his family’s house for the holiday.
Bret’s family is wonderful, and completely different from my own. I don’t always understand these differences, but I do adore their family, because the one thing that matters, is love, and they have that,
Sometimes, however, it is hard to see a family together, when you are missing your own so much.
Anyways, we went over there, and it was a great time, had some tasty food, very different from the kind i am used to, and with a totally different family dynamic, but I was very blessed.
More so because we were able to celebrate Bret’s mom’s birthday, instead of just the day, which would have made me think of the holidays in the past that I can never really relive, and that was pretty damn cool. It is a nice thing to be able to celebrate differently, more so if you can celebrate something different all together. I still miss the berries making up the stars and stripes of the rectangular cake, but chocolate birthday cake is delicious.
Turns out, birthday cake is a great dessert too.
Happy Birthday, Julia.