That was first thought when I woke up this morning. It’s October. It’s the month.

Last year we had plans every weekend of October — ten-year homecoming reunion at college for me followed by a visit with the in-laws, driving the van to the company putting a rear-entry ramp in and spending a couple nights at a bed & breakfast on our way home, my niece’s birthday party, and Halloween. It was supposed to be the first year that all six of us would dress up and go trick-or-treating together.

Little Boy sampling raw pumpkin last year as we tried
to keep a few things “normal” for the kids, like carving pumpkins.

(The first year we had our fourth child, he was recovering from open-heart surgery in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit on Halloween, and I stayed with him. Some good friends from church came to help Scott with the three older ones on trick-or-treat night while I watched Little Boy sleep.)

One of our first photos of “the kids” without Elli, on a family trip
we took after Elli’s funeral. We all needed to get away and just be together.

I had a dream last night that I ran away. I can’t remember what exactly I was running from — I think we were at an event, maybe a wedding, and I just took off across a field covered with a thick blanket of leaves. Maybe that was me running away from this month.

King/Queen/Usurper on the hay-bale pumpkin

When I woke up, I realized two things: (1) you can’t run away from memories, and (2) maybe we will find it a relief to walk through October, 2009. This month will be full of remembering, both happy and sad memories, but it will be worlds better than last October. We have plans to visit some friends, take a long weekend away as a family, go pumpkin and apple picking, and dress up for a neighborhood Halloween party. And I think that we all need to make some new happy memories… to mix in with the tears.