She would have been 54…

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Fireworks, apple pies, and sun-kissed cheeks…

Neighborhood barbecues, smoke-filled skies and sparkling eyes gazing with wonder.

Signs of liberty and life to you.

A bitter sweet reminder that her’s ended.

She would have been 54.

14 birthdays we didn’t get to celebrate.

Questions I didn’t get to ask.

Wisdom I haven’t been able to glean.

Dreams she will never see fulfilled.

It’s familiar but still not normal, this sense of loss. The companionship of grief is one I no longer desire. He’s unpredictable. He rides on the backs of songs, and smells, and places…triggering the ever present memories of the past. And while the tears no longer stream, the sting is just as real.

And while the bangs and fizzles of colors fill the skies wishing this great nation of ours yet another year of independence…

my heart whispers, “Happy Birthday Momma.”