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Fireflies

Thursday, 09 April 2015 00:00  by Mitzi N.

Fireflies are just magical. They remind me of my grandmother who recently passed away. The first time I ever saw them was when I visited her in Ohio the summer before third grade.

My parents packed up my two brothers and me in a Honda hatchback and drove from California to her house in Ohio. She showed us these delightful bugs containing natural light that my brothers and I would catch in Mason jars. We were in awe of how these little bugs were able to shine so much light from their little bodies. Up until then, I had only seen fake fireflies on the Pirates of Caribbean at Disneyland. Of course, there was no comparison.

At my grandmother's funeral I gave the eulogy and recalled my first real firefly sighting, and how she had something magical to share with us when it got dark. We heard the loud bugs of the night and saw the yard dancing with flickers of light. She too had flickers of light.

I mourned for the fact that I didn't truly know her. While I was growing up, I saw glimmers of light in her, but because she was an alcoholic my mother protected herself and us from her toxicity.

In later years, my grandmother moved back West Virginia where she was born and headed down the bumpy path of sobriety and ran her own upholstery business. When my family moved back east and I was in college, she was just a day's drive away, so we made the trip to see her several times. During these visits, I witnessed her silly sense of humor, her amazing work ethic, but also her broken heart, which I don't think was ever repaired.

She died wanting to be remembered for her talent in upholstery. Although she never wrote to me or called, I knew she loved me.

So when the need to create nostalgia arose, making my own fireflies in a jar was a must. All you need are glow sticks, diamond glitter and a Mason jar. Even if you use glow in the dark glue and glow-in-the-dark glitter, the glow sticks make the light appear to float.

When life gets too dark for you and you feel yourself slipping into depression, make some light by changing your focus and create a little magic of your own.

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