King Cole and Dad
The Spirit of Joe…..Month four finds me wondering how in the world October can arrive without Joe? Together, we loved the change of seasons, cooler days, falling leaves and the celebration of Halloween. A large part of me wants to yell at the top of my lungs, “Wait! Stop! We can’t have October without Joe.”
“Hey, buddy, have you had any candy today?” Joe would ask Cole every single October day. For the entire month of October, candy was stashed everywhere. We had candy in martini glasses, ceramic pumpkin dishes and, oddly enough, in the top of Joe’s dresser drawer pushed way back. I loved eating the last chocolate Dove Bar and leaving a note, “Thanks! OX.”
Joe and I were Halloween costume warriors. Cole challenged us with the impossible, and working together, we made it possible. I think we were most proud of Cole’s “Whole WIDE World” costume, or maybe it was the “Mighty Oak” costume. When the branch from the Mighty Oak costume would not stay in place on Cole’s head, we were stopped short of enthusiastically using a nail gun by a small, whining voice saying, “Maybe a little more glue would work?” Our son – always the voice of reason.
Carving Jack-O-Lanterns, roasting pumpkin seeds, and planning our annual Halloween Open House were October highlights. Joe bought cardboard cut-outs of witches, pumpkins, ghosts and fall leaves, insisting on hanging them everywhere. Our house looked like a kindergarten teachers’ seasonal bulletin board.
Cole’s first Halloween came at 6 months, when he was dressed as King Cole, crown firmly planted on his baby head and king cape draped around his shoulders. Joe and Cole went trick-or-treating for the first time. Not yet weaned of breast milk, Cole enjoyed several pieces of chocolate picked out by his dad. Later that night, he fell asleep with his happy, chocolate-covered baby face on his dad’s shoulder. Same song, different costume, followed each year thereafter with the biggest change being that father and son began to weigh the trick-or-treat bag, comparing results to the previous year. Like most things, Halloween became a sporting event.
We can’t have October without Joe. We can’t have Halloween without Joe! We won’t! Cole and I will spread a few of Joe’s ashes around the yard, hang the stupid cardboard witches, leaves, ghosts, and pumpkins, buy more candy than we should, work on a costume exceeding my safety pin ability, throw our annual Halloween Open House and insist that Joe show up in spirit.
Hey Joe, this year I’m saving that last Dove Bar just for you. OX
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