Today would have been your first Halloween. Halloween has always been a holiday that I have enjoyed, but I wouldn’t call it a favorite. As a kid, I enjoyed dressing up and going trick-or-treating, but was easily scared by other costumes. My earliest Halloween memory is of Pa taking your auntie and me to a local park for a kid-friendly haunted trail. Well, it scared me silly and I cried the entire time. Grammy always made my Halloween costumes, including a cheerleader, apple for the teacher, 50’s girl, witch and many, many more. My favorite part about Halloween has always been carving pumpkins. I guess that’s the artist in me! It’s no wonder that I cried hysterically when the mean boys in the neighborhood smashed my wonderful creations, on more than one Halloween. Your Daddy and I continued to carve pumpkins well past our high school years, even before your brothers were born. Most Halloween’s were filled with lots of fun parading at school, trick-or-treating with family and sharing candy with friends. In elementary school, we always had a Halloween parade and the teacher’s costumes were the best. They always had a theme: Sesame Street characters, The California Raisins, etc. The principal was Darth Vader one year, with a costume that could have come straight from the movie. Every Halloween, my parents loaded your auntie and me up in our costumes and we went trick-or-treating at your Great-Grandparents house. Then we went back home and got to go around the neighborhood together. My last official year of being allowed to dress up, some friends and I dressed up as old ladies. I remember these Halloween’s like they were yesterday. Oh, I how wish I could go back in time every now and then.
Now, Halloween is filled with doing fun things with your brothers. Oliver wanted all of us to dress up this year, so he and I were pirates, while Garrison and Daddy were doctors. Garrison got to go in costume to story time at the library Monday. He enjoyed guessing what all of the other kids were dressed up as. At pre-school, they both had a Halloween parade and party with their class. We carved pumpkins as a family last night and went trick-or-treating at church tonight. I think they both have had a good Halloween week, but I have failed to do some of the things that I had either planned to do, or things that I have done in the past. I know they don’t know any difference, but I do.
We included you in our Halloween activities. The boys and I went to a pumpkin patch with friends a few weeks ago and we bought a little pumpkin just for you. It sits under your Dogwood tree that is planted in the front yard. Your brothers found some orange pinwheels and I bought a pumpkin candle holder, all to decorate your tree with. I bought some fall flowers and added some fall leaves and a pumpkin to make a new arrangement for your headstone. I also found a cute Halloween sign and a jack-o-lantern to include with the flowers. It wasn’t until we went to the cemetery a few days ago to place your new arrangement that it hit me. How messed up is it that the only way we can dress you up for your first Halloween is by putting pumpkins and leaves at your grave? While your Daddy and I have had a fun Halloween with Oliver and Garrison, there is a sadness that always creeps in while celebrating anything because you are not here to celebrate with us. I have a feeling that Halloween is not celebrated in heaven, only because one day in heaven has to be better than 1,000 Halloween’s. That’s what keeps me going on a day like today.
Happy Halloween! I love you!