Friday, October 24, 2008

I know I'm not alone in my love of fall, the glory of its color and the cool, crisp air that begins the day. The crunch of the leaves beneath my feet, the craving for apple cider and the chance to pull my sweaters out make me glad that fall is here. Simple pleasures for a time of year that feels anything but simple to me.

October is difficult. Halloween, especially.

I'm blessed to have had three grandfathers in my life, but the memory of the passing of two of them is triggered every year by Halloween decorations. My parents had spent the day decorating our house for Halloween on the day my first grandfather died. Dad picked me up at my after school job to tell me, and I came home to a plywood coffin on the porch. Two weeks later, my other grandfather died, and when we returned from both funerals the decorations were still there. When my dad pulled the decorations out the next year, I screamed at him.

October is when my Eleanor would have been due, she'd have been a year old this month. I can't imagine life without Joseph, but sometimes I imagine life with Eleanor. Would she have been serious, like Emily, as a baby or giggly like Joseph? My living children are blonde, but somehow I always picture Eleanor and Benjamin with dark hair like mine. I'll never know.

Benjamin was lost in the month of October, on Halloween night. It was the last time I wore a Halloween costume, though I'm sure that won't stay true forever. He'd be just over 4 now. The year before last, I "ghosted" the neighborhood with suprise treats of candy on their doorsteps in his honor. It seemed the kind of thing he'd have laughed over, sneaking around to leave treats in the dark of night.

I didn't do anything like that last year. After we took Emily trick or treating, we got her to bed and then I couldn't stop contracting. I spent the rest of Halloween night on monitors in labor and delivery and getting extra doses of terbutaline, hoping there wouldn't be another October loss.

This year, we're taking both kids to trick or treat after the closing the sale of the home we have lived in for the last 8 years. I'd like to think we're starting a new chapter, with excitement about halloween - less tinged with sadness.

1 comment:

Claire said...

Just sending you big hugs. I hope the memories of what was and what could have been are eased by the warmth and smiles of your precious children.