So, If you've been keeping up, you can probably imagine that this was not the happiest of Octobers for Uncle P.
Still, I'm plugging away and trying to regain a sense of 'normalcy.' Today was my first day back at the Day Job, where I was asked to judge both a departmental cupcake contest (in a department other than my own) and the company-wide costume contest. I'd like to believe I was asked because people there actually respect my opinion, though I wouldn't be surprised if people were just trying to cheer me up. Of course every one said it was the former, though the latter was very helpful.
Until I got home, where I had exactly 12 Trick-or-Treaters.
Last year I had just over 40. The year before that, 8. I live on a side street in my development, which serves no real purpose other than to provide housing. You can't really get anywhere significant by driving on my street (unless of course, you count my house). The number of children living on the street varies from year-to-year, depending on who is living here at any given time (some houses here seem to have revolving doors) and growing fears about asking strangers for candy have further reduced the number of kids willing to brave the darkness, especially on a weeknight. Still, I had a few princesses; Batman and Robin and a very clever Popcorn Machine with real popcorn and a light in the dome. But it wasn't quite the same without Mom fawning over the cuteness of the little ones and the cleverness of the older kids. The last knock on my door came at 8:17. I turned off my giant spider and Dracula's Pub lights at 9:00.
Of course, when my sister and I were kids, everyone went door-to-door for hours on end. We'd fill a pillowcase, come home to dump it and head out again. Those days are gone, I'm afraid. And that just makes me all the much sadder about the current state of my favorite holiday.
Still... I watched last night's episode of "American Horror Story: Coven;" had some delicious (if I say so myself) Hungarian stuffed cabbage for dinner; spoke with my sister about our mutual lack of candy-beggars and did my best to enjoy the evening.
There are major and minor changes happening in my home (both physical and emotional). The number of programs I DVR has been slashed in half and I no longer feel quite so compelled to watch what I've recorded (with a few exceptions), though I catch myself being angry and/or sad that Mom will no longer be able to enjoy some of the shows she loved. I have made some progress in obtaining the necessary paperwork which accompanies someone's death, though find myself frustrated by the operating hours of certain government agencies (Damn you, SSI!).
It's a process, I suppose. It will take time and be aggravating and even downright blood-boiling at times. I continue to take my anti-hypertension medication and try to take on each issue as it arises... But the wound is still so fresh and painful...
Hallowe'en has evolved over the centuries from a day of keeping evil spirits at bay to a day of celebration. And it's that spirit I tried to maintain, today. I think Mom wouldn't have wanted me to do anything less. I may be sad that she's no longer here to share the celebration, but oh so very glad for all the times she was.
I hope you had a great Halloween and that you and/or your children got all the goodies you can stomach for the next month or so. If you got a Reeses' Peanut Butter Cup, think of Mom when you eat it. She loved them and loved giving them out. I'll be taking a few dozen or so to share at the Day Job, tomorrow.
And honestly, for folks like Uncle P and several of my friends and family, every day is Halloween:
Turkey Month starts tomorrow and I hope to be back to posting more regularly...