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From: Shannon Palmer
Received: Oct. 23
Fall is upon us. The leaves are bursting into an array of autumn colors, there is a chill in the air, and scarecrows and pumpkins decorate front porches.
Mothers are urging their children to wear their jackets, children are bright-eyed and joyful with trick-or-treat excitement, and fathers are busy raking leaves.
As my 6-year-old daughter runs through the kitchen with vampire teeth jutting out of her mouth, holding up her little hands as if trying to scare me and a pink blanket tied across her shoulders as a cape, I laugh out loud.
She quickly zooms off to the backyard to find her father, to give him a fright as well. I am in the middle of baking banana bread, a new tradition I started last fall. My husband is working diligently trying to wrangle our daughter’s blue plastic pool and its 20 pieces of PVC pipe back into its original box. I’m trying not to laugh.
What a fun time of year. It is the time when we all begin to feel warm and fuzzy and nostalgic. Fall brings back our own childhood memories, of jumping into piles of leaves, carving pumpkins and dumping out bags of candy on Halloween night to examine the goods.
Not only does fall remind us of sweet treats, it is also a reminder that the holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner.
Although I am just as excited about the season, I also can’t help feel a little melancholy. I am so blessed. I get to help pick out my daughter’s Halloween costume and take her trick-
or-treating. I get to feed off her excitement and create memories that will last a lifetime.
While mixing the ingredients for my homemade treat, I began wondering how the parents in Newtown, Conn., were handling this time of year. How hard it must be to face the holidays without their little loved ones. Not being able to pick out that Halloween costume or knowing that no more hand turkeys will be hanging on the fridge from their beloved child and especially having to face the one year anniversary of the tragedy right before Christmas.
So while we are dressing up our little ghosts and goblins (this) week, remember to be thankful for what we do have. If there is one thing the tragedy at Sandy Hook taught me, it was to always hug and kiss my daughter goodbye. Not that I didn’t do this anyway, but now I make sure to always tell her that I love her and give her a hug, even if it means she is rolling her eyes and saying “OK, Mom”, as if she is not 6 but 16. I don’t care.
Some of the parents interviewed after the school shooting stated that they wished they could have hugged their child one more time.
Many were just being normal: getting ready for school, dropping them off or putting them on the bus for the day. Half the time I feel like I am Mario Andretti, skidding up to the curb and yelling, “Go before the tardy bell rings! Love you!” as she runs into the school. Although this is an exaggeration, I know to never take anything for granted. Those Newtown parents never expected that morning would be the last time they got to say goodbye. So give thanks this season and never forget.
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