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The Ending Of One Tradition

How Great It Was

To be part of something so special

In my wife's family

They have been celebrating the 4th of July

With a cookout and one big party

The grand finale was a parade around the pool

Then sometime later

Family and friends disperse

As each person finally returns back to their own jobs and individual families

Living each day

Watching their own children grow up

They too carry on their own traditions

For some, they are blessed enough to be retired

Well this year is especially beautiful and different

My wife's Aunt and the boyfriend who have the party

Have decided to move to Florida permanently

They are done with the harsh winters and the cold

For the past few years

They would vacation a few months of the year in Florida

They would still get the family together

I was lucky to be part of it

For the past 21 years

When you see everyone

The greatest meet and greet

In my mind

Everyone is a star

We are all thankful for what we have

Still remembering the loved ones who have passed

A mixed bag of feelings and emotions

Sad in some ways

Still thinking they are looking down at us

Secretly wishing they are having their own party too

Strongly believing we will always stay together

Each of us all

Remembering the laughs and the excitement

The best of the best

Instead of the worst of the worst

Of all the times we did experience and appreciate

There is something so important about people

That we should never forget

In our daily routine, we can easily be overwhelmed

With our many obligations and responsibilities

Work up the wazoo

This was one time to let lose

For some people, it was a few wonderful drinks

Yes those wonderful wine and spirits

For others, it was the food

A veggie platter, an olive tray

Hot dogs piled high on a plate

Chicken wings from a secret family recipe

Cheeseburgers an inch thick

The food table was always full

When one tray was empty another one came out

That delicious eggplant

Even meatballs at the end of the night

There were always some things that can't be answered

One more unsolved mystery of life

Is it sauce or is it gravy?

Back to the food

I sneaked into the deserts early on

A brownie and a lemon square

Looking in any direction

Plates and plates of food

Chicken something or other

I am too full to have another bite

I am sure it has to be good

I filled up on everything else

There was a salad, pasta salad and potato salad

The hot and sweet sausages

People all knew

They had to wait a little longer

For those delicious steak tips on the grill

My hat off to the cooks every year

All I ever brought is my big appetite

As I couldn't grab my plate fast enough

Sometimes I had to work

I would get a quick dip in the pool and I would pick a little of everything

Before I had to leave

Then I think we all had a little timer in our heads

Where we would secretly count down the days

Till the next time, we would meet again

In some families, it might be Christmas

My wife's family celebrated their Christmas on Christmas Eve

For others, it might be Thanksgiving

I was fortunate enough to have all three

Each time families could put aside their differences

Let go of their worries for the moment

There had to be over forty people

Nobody seems to have the exact number

Because people would keep coming in and out

Like a revolving door at Macy's

I especially loved all the different conversations

It was a great blend of thoughts and opinions

If only more people could understand

We don't need the government to do everything for us

Sure we might need a helping hand on occasion

Let people find a way to work things out

Among each other without the middle man

In football, we keep blocking and do everything we can

To make darn sure

Nobody comes between the quarterback and the receiver

In our precious lives

Why would we let it happen time and time again?

For the love of people

We can all do a better job

I understand how we all can appreciate computers and those amazing cell phones

That does everything under the sun

There are some things we are just better off

Doing for ourselves

Hugging each other

Then again maybe just a fist bump

Taking the time to hold hands and kiss

Fix the floaty to let their sweet granddaughter

So she can dance in the water

This year the weather said thunderstorms were coming late in the afternoon

For once the weatherman was right

We just finished the parade and everyone ran for cover

Out of the pool

As the kids got mad

When we could hear the thunder right over our heads

Lightning might not be far away

This is the first year it rained

Most people dashed into the cabana for cover

Some found a small area under an umbrella

Where they decided to wait it out

I found just one more reason to eat

I think everyone should be blessed

With an Aunt Madaline and Richard in their lives

Where the partying never stops

The love is so contagious

No amount of rain could ruin their day

As they pack up and make the final move

Soon to start a new tradition

Once again I am filled with nothing but happiness

To know that is what life is about

Loving what you do

This is worth repeating

Doing what you love

For the rest of your life

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