Mama was born on the 4th of July. Every year, the family gathered for a picnic and cookout with all the trimmings in her honor. In later years, it was held at my oldest sister Dot’s house because she had a swimming pool. Memphis is hot in the summertime and the kids loved the pool. Dot would bake a large chocolate sheet cake with a hint of cinnamon and a delicious chocolate icing. Sometimes, she’d decorate the top. It was so very good. My mouth waters just remembering. With the cake, there would be homemade vanilla ice cream, usually my sister Gerry’s specialty. Before dessert, of course, there would be delicious grilled hamburgers, baked beans, potato salad and other wonderful dishes. In later years, we’d sometimes order Memphis barbeque at its best – from Corky’s.

Yes, I know that July 4th represents Independence Day…but not to me. To me, it is Mama’s birthday. The day is filled with memories that make me wish I could turn the clock back and we’d all be together celebrating. Little did I know then, how quickly time would pass…


Dianne and Gerry at Mama’s 4th of July birthday party at Dot’s house. About 1990.


  1. Patty

    Such a beautiful birthday remembrance. It's nice to think of your mom celebrating her birthday / independence from human frailties in a better place. 🙂

  2. Salmagundi

    My grandfather's birthday was on the 4th of July, also – lots of fond memories – thanks for posting yours. Sally

  3. Anonymous

    I'll be thinking about your mother and family tomorrow and all the wonderful times you had on July 4.

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