The spirit of the holiday

As the Fourth of July approaches, there are already plans for cookouts, watermelon and games for the family. Horseshoes and badminton sets will be brought out for the first time in a year.

Older folks will remember family members who will not be around to brandish the rackets this year, youngsters will rejoice in their first ace past a wooden Uncle Joe, or their first leaner in a grudge match.

But all of those ancestors who are not there physically this year, are there in spirit. We can all remember Dad and Mom cheering on the younger set as the shoe leaned on the pole. They cheered as the bird flew past Uncle Joe and the youngest member of the family scored his first point.

All holidays are about memories. The older generation remembers the days – and people – past. Every smiling face, every horseshoe point adds to that trove. The younger generation doesn’t realize it yet, but today’s triumph is tomorrow’s memory.

There is no better time than the casual holiday – say July 4th – to realize what your family means to you. The love, laughter and gentle kidding you will share with each other this Thursday will last a lifetime – and beyond.

Some would say silly games like horseshoes or badminton (or even something out of the box, like Trivial Pursuit) are wastes of time.

We’d beg to differ. Every family has pastimes that their members enjoy and embrace. They should pursue them passionately and have a heck of a time with them on every holiday.

This year, have a slice of watermelon and watch the young folks kick the devil out of their parents in a game or two. Then look over your shoulder and watch Mom and Dad laughing – they saw the same thing with our generation.

Unfortunately, Mom and Dad are gone now. But their spirit lives on – in this holiday and every one in the future.

(A version of this editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News.)

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.