Best of times, worst of times on family outing

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At night we went into downtown Sarasota to watch the fireworks over the bay. If you live for fireworks, as I do, this is a must-see, and I’ve seen them all, including the NYC blast over the East River. Dazzling pyrotechnics close enough to reverberate in your heart.

My 6-year-old grandson said, “This is the best day of my life.”

Day Five: I called 911. My dad fainted in the shower and my mom and I couldn’t lift him up. No one — not one of the 14 other family members who have their cell phones embedded in their bodies — answered my SOS texts.

Paramedics arrived. I remembered this was my mom’s birthday. She’s been strong, but she was looking at her husband of 68 years collapsed in the shower and she started to cry.

EMTs lifted Dad onto a gurney. He asked for his cap with his captain’s bars. He clings to those memories of his glory days. My mom clung to him. We circled the wagons.

Turns out he’ll be OK. As a family vacation, I guess it was a B+. It came close to being an A- except for the rush to the E.R.

Same time next year, I guess.

Copyright © 2013 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at

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