I went to Natchitoches this weekend for the Christmas festival with my family. At the festival they were honoring our armed forces. So many Army guys everywhere… ugh! It’s like he was there too! Sheesh. And there was a giant American flag hanging above the bridge. He was just on my mind the whole time. It also didn’t help that my mom kept bringing him up. “Hey you need to bring him out here when he gets back!” or “You need to take a photo of that big American flag and send it to him.” Or “Did you see all the Army guys in the Christmas parade?” Um… yes Mom. I did. And yes, I’d love to share this amazing Christmas tradition with him. I wish he was here now. (as I watch a young couple snuggling together…) It also didn’t help that he told me that he marched in this same parade back in high school when he was in ROTC. I did wish he could’ve been there. Although, I’m not sure if veterans of war enjoy fireworks shows. I’m sure he’ll be seeing plenty of fireworks where he is….
It was nice to share this family tradition with my girls. We used to do this every year to kick off the holidays in my family. I think my grandparents started going when the festival first began back in 1956. We had our fill of meat pies and gumbo. We walked through the Christmas crafts. We grabbed a great spot on the river to watch the most amazing fireworks show (which I will post later). We slid down the hill on cardboard. (Woohoo! Yes even me too!) We sang Christmas carols and walked through the lights downtown. We had hot chocolate. And we were dead exhausted at the end of the night. Whew. It was very familiar even though its probably been 10 years since I’ve last attended the festival.
The girls had a blast. It also brought back many memories of my dad. To me and my family. We all got a little bit emotional thinking about him at one point or another. Even my oldest daughter said that when she even thinks of him, the tears start to come out. I also had memories of my ex. We had been to the festival many times and snuggled like the young couple mentioned earlier. I guess its just time to make new memories.
"Please come home for Christmas..."
Yeah. I know.