Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day

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Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. -George Washington


I am so grateful for our nation and the freedoms we are blessed with. I am grateful for those who have fought for the freedoms we are able to enjoy. I am grateful our nation's founding fathers and that they followed the inspiration they were given from God. We are blessed.

2002

After Aaron and I got engaged, his brother Steve called him and asked him to come out to California to fix his car. So, Aaron and his friend Rob flew to California to fix Steve's car and to visit. They were there over the 4th of July. Here are a few photos from his trip. I don't know what I did. I don't have any photos from what I did. I am sure I did something with my family, but was most likely missing Aaron more than anything else. Aaron wrote me an extremely lovely letter from this trip telling me how he feels about me and that he was missing me. It is something I treasure.

2003
We went to the Bees baseball game with Aaron's family.

2004
We went to watch fireworks with my family.

2005
We drove with Rob and Kaily out to San Francisco, California. We were in Aaron's truck pulling a huge trailer full of their stuff. They were moving out there to go to dental school.

Also 2005. I was 4 months pregnant on this trip. :)

2006
Aaron was working at Discovery Ranch during this 4th of July. He worked a double shift on Thursdays and because the kids had to be there, the supervisors and mentors had to be there as well... so he didn't get to be with us at all that day. Aaron Jr and I went to a parade with Aaron's family that morning, then went to watch fireworks with my family in the evening. We missed Aaron that day.

2007
Our final 4th of July with Aaron here. We are at the Bees baseball game again here. Aaron Jr spilled water all over himself and he was soaking wet, so Aaron and his dad went up and bought a little Bees t-shirt for him to wear the rest of the game. We had a barbeque with Aaron's family earlier in the day, then came to the game. It was a nice day.

2008
The night before the 4th, we went with some of my family up to Eaglewood Golf Course to watch some fireworks. The kids played in a sand trap while we waited. They had a great time.

Stella and Aaron Jr in the sand trap. John, Lisa, and Angus.
Robert and Teresa in the car on the way home.
Caroline, Zachary, Hannah, and Elise. (or is it Elise and Hannah?)


Aaron Jr and Leslie
Sadie invited us to come and watch the Kaysville parade with them. It was a lot of fun. Thank you Sadie for the invitation. The kids all got a lot of candy and we all got wet at the end when they were shooting water at the crowds. :)
Note: Aaron Jr is wearing the Bees t-shirt that Aaron bought for him last year. I am so glad it still fits him.


Grace, Aaron Jr, Pearl having a great time together. Steve (Aaron's Dad) and Aaron Jr.
Sue (Aaron's Mom) and Sophia. Sadie and Pearl.


That evening Robert and Teresa brought food over and barbequed for us and my parents. Aaron Jr is in the top left corner with an olive on his thumb. I don't like olives, but Aaron loved them and he taught Aaron Jr how to eat them this way. To this day, I have never seen him eat and olive without placing it on his finger first. I love it.
My Dad and Mom are in the right top corner.
After dinner, we all went out and played a little bit of soccer on the lawn. Aaron Jr and I are at the bottom of the photo.

Zachary defending his goal from Aaron Jr. Teresa kicking the ball.
Aaron Jr and Robert after just kicking the ball.
Dad and Aaron Jr ready to score. Aaron Jr defending Mom as she is bringing it down the field.


I thought I would end with this photo. These are some of the fireworks we saw. Aaron Jr is in the right corner standing there watching them.

I wasn't going to take Aaron Jr and go to the fireworks that night, but decided to at the very last minute. It is just so hard doing all of these 'firsts' without Aaron here. Sometimes I just choose not to do anything when a 'first' comes at me, but this night... there would have been so little effort involved, I finally said that I should go just so Aaron Jr can experience things like he would have if Aaron were still here. I am trying not to deprive him of having certain experiences if I think that I can handle them. I know there are certain things that I will for sure not be able to do, but the things that aren't too difficult, I am trying to give him the chance to have fun. Going to the fireworks and the parade... Aaron was missed the whole time, but I am glad we went anyway.
Happy 4th of July everyone!

Loving and missing you, Aaron...

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18 comments:

Joann said...

I am glad you had a good day, Leslie. The pictures of Aaron Jr. are wonderful. I hope that this 4th was a day you can look back on with a happy heart.

dani said...

leslie, i am so happy that you and aaron jr. observed the holiday. it's always a really good thing i suppose to stay busy whether you feel celebratory or not.
i pray that the days will begin to pass easier for you and your beautiful little boy.
love and prayers,
dani

Tawnie said...

I'm so glad you had a nice day Leslie. I can't believe how you can just go back through all your pictures and find the ones you want. Good job. And.....did you create ALL the pictures on your beauty blog? Pretty clever. We love them. You are quite the photographer. Love you.

Mindy said...

You have a great memory AND you're a consistent picture-taker! I could not for the life of me recount every 4th with Brandon. I'm going to try to hold these memories more, though, and take more pictures, thanks to your inspiration.

Love you!

Mindy said...

Oh, and I love your songs on the side! Those are some of my very favorites!

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie,

I'm glad you celebrated the day, even with the heaviness in your heart.

I am still amazed at what a photographic record you have of your life with your family. Thanks to you, I am trying hard to take more photos - particularly with me and Nick in them - as a record of our lives.

Some time ago, you talked of choosing Aaron's headstone and how best to pay tribute to the life of such a man in one small space. I am wondering what decision you did make, or are you still thinking on it?

Love always,

Jane

Kjell Tore said...

Hi Leslie

So nice to see you and your son.. I understand 4 July are a great day - over there... Like we have 17 May in Norway..

Kjell Tore

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and praying for peace, hope and inner happiness...

Blessings,
Rita

Matchbox Mom said...

You were at the Kaysville parade???
ME TOO!!!
Wow I wish I could have met you and little Aaron Jr. Since i'm your blog stalker and all!!! haha
I wish there was something I could do to help you and your little boy.
I'm glad that you are still doing those 'firsts' that need to be done, even if your cute hubby isn't here. I can't imagine how hard that must be for you, but you DID IT. You are truly amazing, and there isn't a day that goes by that i'm not praying for you and your handsome little guy.

Loves...

Janae said...

Leslie,
I came across your blog I think from Sheye's and feel prompted to direct you to adailyscoop.blogspot.com. This dear family just lost their one year old daughter in a drowning accident, and although their loss is completely different from yours, I think it may help you to read her words. I am so sorry for your loss.
JaNae

Janae said...

Leslie,
I came across your blog I think from Sheye's and feel prompted to direct you to adailyscoop.blogspot.com. This dear family just lost their one year old daughter in a drowning accident, and although their loss is completely different from yours, I think it may help you to read her words. I am so sorry for your loss.
JaNae

Janae said...

Leslie,
I came across your blog I think from Sheye's and feel prompted to direct you to adailyscoop.blogspot.com. This dear family just lost their one year old daughter in a drowning accident, and although their loss is completely different from yours, I think it may help you to read her words. I am so sorry for your loss.
JaNae

Kristi said...

Happy 4th of July. It looks like you all had fun. I am glad you can make new memories, even though it is difficult knowing that they are without Aaron. We love you.

Jyl said...

I love how you document each year! What a great way to remember for Aaron jr. Looks like you had a lot of good memories and even made some again last weekend!

Karey said...

Looks like a fun day. Better than ours was, that's for sure. Great pictures. I love the picture of Little Aaron and other kids watching the fireworks. That's a great shot! I can't wait for you to come visit. The kids can't stop talking about it. We love you!

LL said...

Hi Leslie. I've been thinking of you so much lately. After I arrived in town, I drove by my moms old house and saw Ode outside of the Harkness home...made my heart hurt. I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you.
and sending my love

Andrea said...

Hi Leslie,
It has been awhile. Sending lots of love, sunshine, and prayers your way.
Andrea

yellowoman said...

Les,
Glad you chose to go and now have that darling picture of him (with the fireworks above). What a symbol of the beauty, spark, heat, and light in the sky that he can feel at times. I am sure Aaron witnessed this celebration with you both and knew how greatly he was missed. I can't imagine how hard the hollidays especially must be. Good for you for being strong enough and selfless enough for Aaron's sake to go. You are amazing.