I used to go to The Point in Pittsburgh to watch Fourth of July fireworks. WDVE always blasted the guitar version of the Star-Spangled Banner.

I stopped going to fireworks when my grandmother died on this day 14 years ago. While the fireworks were going off. Appropriately enough.

I swore to avert my eyes every time a firework occurred within earshot after that. And did.

When I moved to D.C. a few years later, I Metro’d my happy ass to the National Mall to see their spectacular display. Nothing beat what the Zambellis did in Pittsburgh because it was what I loved most, but I did have to admit the capital put on a hell of a show.

In Florida, I stay on my balcony and watch fireworks from six different communities. This year’s were kind of meh, probably because of the rain. They will never compare to what I saw up north. And if I’m being honest, Walt Disney World does fireworks like no one else on earth.

But no matter the quality of the show or the location or the company, I’m glad I let myself enjoy fireworks again.

Tomorrow is going to be sheer hell at work and I’ve spent the day worrying about it (but not doing anything about it). So I’m happy that for the two hours I spent at the beach today and the 30 minutes I spent watching the illuminations in the sky, I can say I had a good day.

Love you, Gram. Miss the shit out of you, lady. If anyone has found a way to give ’em all hell up in heaven, I know you have. Shine on you fabulous firecracker, you.

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