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Welcome to my Blog

Hi, I'm Julie ... artist, photographer, potter, etc. I am so happy you are here! I consider this blog my creative journal where I can share my recent work, ideas and dreams, and lots of little details about my life. Please make yourself at home. Whether you are a bride-to-be, a photographer, or just a visitor, I hope you will find inspiration here and even become a friend.

My Life :: Why I'm sad on the 4th of July

The 4th of July isn't just America's birthday … it's also my Papaw's birthday. And for as long as I can remember this day has been centered around celebrating him. I have so many memories of hot dogs, strawberry cakes decorated like a flag, fireworks, swimming in the mountains, and family. Always family.

(July 4, 2011)

Why I'm sad on the 4th of July, Julie Roberts Photography
Why I'm sad on the 4th of July, Julie Roberts Photography

But this year today is a sad day for me because my Papaw is no longer with us. He passed away a month ago and it just doesn't seem like this holiday is worth celebrating without him.

 

Why I'm sad on the 4th of July, Julie Roberts Photography

I apologize for writing such a sad blog but this one is for me and for the memory of a man who I loved so much. He was a a simple and proud man … a moon-shiner in his early days, a WWII army veteran, a coal miner for almost forty years, and when he retired he worked a small cattle farm in southern Virginia until he and my grandmother sold their farm and moved to Tennessee to be closer to family.

 

 (Thanksgiving 2009)

Why I'm sad on the 4th of July, Julie Roberts Photography

(Christmas 2009 - love that he is wearing the same shirt and hat)
Why I'm sad on the 4th of July, Julie Roberts Photography

My best memories of Papaw were the summers as a little girl that I would go to stay with them for a week or so. Papaw would cater to my every whim … take me and Mamaw where ever we wanted to go, buy me cabbage patch dolls, play cards, grill hot dogs, etc. But my favorite memory is the tractor. He built a sled that attached to the back of his tractor that was used to haul hay around to feed his cows. But when I came to visit … I would get up extra early with my head full of messy, curly hair and my night gown … and I would HURRY out to make sure he hadn't gone without me. He was always there waiting and I would hop onto the sled and go for a ride all over the side of that mountain.

(the farm in Duffield, VA - Mamaw and Papaw would always stand and wave until we drove out of sight)

Why I'm sad on the 4th of July, Julie Roberts Photography

Papaw was the most stubborn and cranky old feller I ever knew. He was mean as a snake sometimes but in a funny way ... always giving people silly nick names and mispronouncing things. He loved to make us laugh and he loved to tell stories even if you'd heard the same one a hundred times before. He was so funny … always quick with a dry humor that I will miss for as long as I live.

 

(Christmas 2011)

Why I'm sad on the 4th of July, Julie Roberts Photography
Why I'm sad on the 4th of July, Julie Roberts Photography
(my wedding, April 17, 2011 - the first time I ever saw him not wearing blue.)
Why I'm sad on the 4th of July, Julie Roberts Photography

(June 8, 2012 - the day of his burial - seven great-grandchildren and one on the way)
Why I'm sad on the 4th of July, Julie Roberts Photography

It's so hard to believe that he is gone. I wanted so badly for him to get to meet our little Eleanor who could come anytime now. Despite all the sadness I feel to have lost him … planning and expecting her arrival has been a welcome distraction. A lady at Papaw's funeral said she would be the best medicine to our family and I believe that is true. There is something so sad and beautiful about the circle of life. No one is exempt from grief or death, but the sun is always set to rise again.

 

Why I'm sad on the 4th of July, Julie Roberts Photography
 

What do you think? Leave me some feedback!

Your Name
Jul 6, 2012April Rowley
I loved getting to know your Papaw through this story. Beautifully written! Thanks for sharing. I cried a few of your tears for you! Lots of LOVE!
Jul 4, 2012Holly smith
The last line is well said. I can't wait to see your sweet little one.
Jul 4, 2012Amy Broome
Julie -- This made me cry as I too miss someone I love who died a year ago - My Mother... You are so right, the 4th of July will never be the same without my Mom. God has blessed us with two new granddaughers, both named after her, and I know that we will begin to make new memories on the 4th.. Thanks for sharing and I loved your pictures of your Papaw! Also, your sweet Eleanor will be wonderful medicine for your family.. So excited for you and Nick!
Jul 4, 2012Jamie Weiss
Papaws are special people and can never be replaced. I am sorry for your loss and I pray for you as you prepare to welcome Eleanor! I hope she gets to have some great times with her Papaw! (Unfortunately my papaw and dad passed before Alyssa was born and so she never knew either of them. One of the things I hate most in life.)
 

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