I know, I know. I didn't do anything for the fourth. Look, I had an opportunity to go to someone else's house for a change, and I took it. I didn't grill out, I didn't have everyone over - but I did make a flag cake. However, it only had 12 stripes and I'm pretty sure there were not 50 blueberries. I could picture you rolling your eyes at me. But trust me, it tasted the same.
The kids are getting so big, you wouldn't believe it! Tyler has finally hit 5 feet and is taller than his Aunt Tina, Henry and Addie keep growing like weeds. Addie is almost riding a two wheeler - not quite there yet, but she is so determined! She doesn't want any help, she waves me off and says 'don't watch me, I'll do it myself!' She also is swimming like a fish, and has taught herself to do front and back somersaults, and she does cannonballs in the deep end. Henry is learning how to dive, and he did awesome at his basketball camp. He came home thinking he was one of the team, nonchalantly talking about hanging out with Tyshawn Taylor, and telling me 'Mom, they want me to come back next year.' I didn't tell him that they tell ALL the kids that. He's actually getting pretty good at basketball - sports in general, really. Given our family history, it's hard to imagine, I know. But nonetheless, you'd be so amazed and proud.
Mom got a call from Cheryl at Fringe - they're honoring you at the Festival this year! I knew you'd be thrilled. We're getting a lot of your prints together, and that photo of you at the Flint Hills that I love so much. You are very much missed by all of those people, you did so much for them.
And it goes without saying that I miss you, too. We all do. Mom says the house is too quiet, and I have no one to bake for anymore. No one leaves clipped articles from Newsweek or The Atlantic on my dining room table anymore. There are lulls in conversations at family gatherings that never used to be there before. There is just a huge void without you. I love you.