This Halloween was a lot of fun. Colin really got into it, and Adam started to strategize that if he ran (the.entire.night) he would hit the jackpot of candy. Colin tuckered out quickly, so Dave stayed with Adam and I took Colin back to our friends' house.
Here's the boys posing with the pumpkins on the front porch.
Our fire department has a Halloween party where the kids can get more candy (like a huge bag full!), meet a clown, get a balloon animal, and enjoy donuts and cider (like they needed any more sugar that night!-- but I digress). Coffee for the parents.
Then we all got to climb on the fire engines. We met some of our bible study friends there. The kiddos were really excited to enjoy Halloween together- it was fun for us adults too!
Lions, and lions and bear, oh my!
Adam was in his element too.
Right before embarking on freezing temps, wind and occasional sprinkling, we snapped a family pic.
All in all it was a great night!
Halloween is always a bittersweet holiday for me. 11 years ago, I was finishing up a shift at work with my best friend. I was going to go with her and her fiance to take their kids trick-or-treating. We received a frantic call before leaving which sent us flying to the hospital. Their daughter, Natalie, had fallen and became unresponsive. Turns out that she fell just right giving her a heart arrhythmia.
She was transferred from a smaller hospital to a larger one where they got a pulse back- but only for a short time. Natalie was called Home that night. She was 2 1/2.
That night has both haunted me and blessed me at the same time.
It's horrible to hear that sound a mother makes when she's given the news that her child is gone. Or that look on their face when they sign away organs and tissues. Or when they return from saying good-bye to her.
But for some reason God had me there- with them- that night. Whether it was to help explain to her 4 year old brother about Jesus and Heaven or whether it was to just sit and silently pray for God to bring them to him during their time of grieving...I don't know.
I have been blessed by that night too. My walk with God was pretty loosey goosey back then, and I found myself jumping into His arms simply because I could not understand it myself. I've also realized not to take one second for granted- because in an instant He can call us Home.
Natalie would have been 13 this year. Her mother and I are no longer as close as we once were- but still very close in other ways. She has seen more heartbreak in her life than I can shake a stick at. But she continues on, and I continue to pray for her and her kids.