Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, from as early as I can remember - even more so than Christmas. I guess I am weird like that, and this could be verified by many of my childhood girlfriends, and those who know me best.Four years ago, it was Brodie's first Halloween. I found the perfect pirate costume for him and the whole family was prepared to dress up. It was going to be the best Halloween yet, until the worst happened in that week before the holiday came.
I was pregnant with Baby Mann 2, 13 weeks along, and thinking I had safely made it through the first trimester. Then, I realized something was wrong. I made an appointment and went in to see the doctor. No. Heartbeat. Schedule. D & C. So, Baby Mann 2, who would have been named Luke, was born into Heaven. That week, I struggled to put on my best face as I healed and recuperated, and marked Brodie's first holiday. That was 2006.
The following October, I was 8 months pregnant with Blayd, when my blood pressure would not stay normal. If I was up, it was up. If I was down, it went down. I did not have things ready for the baby yet, but the doctor put me on bed rest and threatened a hospital stay if I didn't stick to it. So for Mrs. Independent, those were some of the longest days of my life...sitting...waiting...watching life...not being able to get up and chase Brodie the 2 year old, it was hard. I remember staring out of the living room window, thinking I should hold up a sign that said "HELP" to cars as they passed by. Thankfully, I had dear sweet friends who brought me treats, like Pumpkin Muffins from Dunkin' Donuts - the BEST! So that Halloween, I had to sit on the porch and watch the action go by, as Brodie went off trick or treating with his Daddy. That was 2007.
The next October brought more sadness and a loss. Our dear sweet first "child" Blue, became very ill and died. It was so very painful and Doug and I sobbed like children, ourselves, as we buried him out in the back yard. As I have written about before (here), he was my first child, who taught me how to love and how to be a Mother, and he gallantly stepped aside when we brought our real children home. I still miss him, and still look for him, and it still hurts. That was 2008.
Last year, in October of 2009, things were pretty low-key. I was almost a little Scrooge-like, in only pulling out a few decorations. The time was painful, and it was hard for me to find the joy that was once there in that month of orange and black and innocent spooky fun.
And so this year, I realize Halloween has become different for me. It always brings thoughts of "what if" and I think of my precious baby, that I never got to hold or meet, and I wonder, is he alive in Heaven? And then, I smell pumpkin muffins and think of those precious days before Blayd came, days that were so long and mundane at the time, but days that I would give anything to have back. And of course, I remember my Baby Blue, and the wonderful times we had with him here on earth, and I wonder, is he in Heaven, running around with my Luke who would be 3? And so this year, I searched high and low to find all of the Halloween decorations, and we have already put them out - early - to ensure a month of fun for my 2 precious boys, who seem to enjoy the holiday as much as I once did, and as much as I hope to again. This is 2010.