Wednesday, October 31, 2018

An Evening Of Festivities. Fun. And, Heavy Hearts.

For the past 5 years on Halloween, I've always made a big "cauldron" of corn chowder. I only make it once a year. In addition, I make homemade bread. For dessert, I also make something I only whip up once a year...homemade pumpkin Whoopie Pies. During the hours of trick or treating, our neighbor friends and a handful of people we invite over will stop by for a bite to eat.

The entire evening is festive. Lisa is always excited to hand out candy to the kids dressed in costumes. We sip wine, eat too much candy, and we're probably the loudest bunch in the neighborhood.

Although this year was no exception, we were hit with some devastating news during the morning hours.

I was in the middle of preparing for our evening festivities. Lisa called. She was on her way home. She got a call from Mom. Our Aunt Rena lost her battle with brain cancer.

We were both crushed. 

When Lisa arrived home from work, she spent time with the kids before sitting at the kitchen table with me.

We talked for a long time while she ate lunch.

After eating, we continued to talk.

The past few years hasn't been easy. We've lost close to 20 friends and family from cancer, illness, and elder years. With each passing, we take a day to reflect. Honor their life. Talk. Give thanks to our many blessings. Vow to never take time for granted. Vow to not waste our time. Vow to stand our ground stronger and stronger.

After our lengthy conversation, we decided to go forth with the evening of festivities.

Aunt Rena would have wanted that. 

Lisa and I scurried around to finish up the preparations.

At that point, I was behind on what needed to be done.

Lisa delivered a meal and gift to one of our neighbor friends who was celebrating their wedding anniversary.

I was still finishing up when trick or treaters and guests arrived.

I was in a lot of pain because I didn't have that hour or two to rest my body before our guests arrived.

But, we made it work. 

Under the circumstances, we had a wonderful evening.

Almost 40 trick or treaters visited us for candy.

We fed our entire neighborhood family along with a special lady whom we've welcomed into our tiny circle.

The festivities and company lifted our spirits.

Much needed.

Lisa has tomorrow off.

We were supposed to have a few friends over for coffee, tea, and snacks. But, we canceled.

We felt guilty, but when we have friends or family that pass, we take a day to honor their life and to reflect on our own. We take those days to spend as a family and to give thanks. We mute the rest of the world.

That's what we're going to do.

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