Three Independence Days ago we all spent the day at Ossippee Lake with Jim’s sisters and their families, on Uncle Mike’s boat on a glorious but horrifically humid day, eating and quenching our thirst as only his family does. (Well, all but one of us: I already had succumbed to a seemingly endless crying jag and could neither sleep nor eat.)
The night before that we had watched fireworks over Portsmouth’s Mill Pond with our dear friends, as we did this year from nearly the same spot of grass we had occupied when Jim was still here.
Jim’s diagnosis with pancreatic cancer was then a fresh shear on the landscape, but you would have had no clue anything was amiss from looking at him as he took pictures of the fireworks and all of us, and on July 4th plunged into the lake and bobbed and grinned with his children and nieces and nephews.
This Independence Day we were at the same sister and brother-in-law’s cabin, on the same lake, on the same kind of day. The same distant mountains were a dusty green and blue through the haze of heat. The clouds were, once again, cartoonishly enormous.
Nearly everything was the same.
Nearly everything has changed.