You used to be the month when we rolled out the pretzels and beer, when men were landing on the moon, and The Flintstones were having their baby daughter, Pebbles. In the July of my youth, television was full of summertime replacements for the Andy Williams show, and showcased talents of people like Roger Miller, Ray Stevens and Glenn Campbell. What a treat it was to watch those summertime replacement shows. Can you imagine if television had variety shows like that today? I would watch, that's for sure.
So, back to my babbling ... yeah, every July I have to pretend that I'm happy. I love the Fourth of July, it brings back fond memories of my childhood, but the rest of July's story is full of ghosts of calendars past, seared with pain, as I recall the death of my mother, my brother, and the birthday of my other brother who has passed.
July is full of emotional hills and valleys. I cannot forget that July morning my father called me to mother's bedside. She had collapsed, could not speak, could not walk, and yet no one had taken her to the hospital, they were waiting for me to awaken. I recall thinking, "Why? Why me? I'm the middle kid who knows nothing, remember?" My father was a courageous genius who saved many lives in WWII. Why had he not yet called 911 that morning? So, heck, glad I was there to tell everyone what to do...but Gawds, death is awful. It brings out the best and worst in everyone.
The moments that followed at 7 AM that day in July, are a blur of memories. I remember Dad and Tom taking her to the hospital; the hospital folks intubated her immediately and she never spoke another word. Three days later, Dad asked me to sing Country Roads to her as she drifted off into the coma caused by sepsis.
Death sucks. July doesn't. I know that yet cannot wait for it to get here; and I cannot wait for it to be over. Halfway home now; just a few weeks and it's over. Soon August will take over the calendar references and this seventh month of emotional fireworks will fizzle out ... until next year.
C'mon, Christmas!! Choir retreat in August starts the rehearsal season for Advent. Yee to the haw!