I had pictured Halloween to be pretty uneventful for us this year, not that we have gone all out in the past, but with Piri gone and traditions that leave me feeling empty and hurt, it was just a day I thought we should skip altogether.
About a week ago, we were in CVS late night buying Halloween candy but today I thought about just pretending not to be home. I didn't want to smile and greet trick or treaters and pretend to be happy.
But as the trick or treaters came I smiled and I laughed and I realized that Halloween was one of those nights that never failed to make me laugh - at the kiddos who come by with their adorable costumes and the parents, too.
This year, my biggest laugh came with three little kids and their dad (the mom hung out in the back). As they cheered "Trick or Treat!" I said, "Happy Halloween!" and got down to their level and let them pick out the candy they wanted. The littlest one didn't and so I asked, "Do you want to pick out your candy?" He mumbled something I didn't understand and the dad started laughing and said, "He said he has a shield." And I looked over at what I thought was his free hand but really he was holding a shield. A mighty shield because he was Captain America! Captain America had both of his hands full (shield and his trick or treat bag) and needed a little help putting candy in his bag. And so I helped him. Me and his dad couldn't help but laugh at the whole situation and how serious Captain America was because he really couldn't leave without his candy.
So... Halloween was a good one. And I'm glad I didn't pretend to be not home, cooped up in my room.
Still it was a little bitter sweet. After the hustle and bustle the house seemed so empty again and I cried. Again.
After we ran out of Halloween candy, we took a quick drive over to 7-Eleven because I am obsessed with iced tea at the moment, and I asked Yangkyu on the drive over what he was thinking during that last drive with Piri in the front seat, lifeless. He said, "I don't know. I wasn't thinking anything.. only that I wouldn't get this chance ever again. And so I kept my hand on him the entire time.. because it would be the last time."
These types of feelings and thoughts are what brings a lot of tears to my eyes and hurts my heart. The lasts. The never agains. The wishful once mores.
Yangkyu has been pretty quiet about Piri's passing the past week but yesterday when he got up, the first thing he did was to walk over the little shrine we made for Piri and kissed his photo. And then he smelled Lamp Chop before walking away saying, "I miss you, Piri." And every time I've been saying "I miss Piri" he's been echoing my words.
I wasn't going to share our pumpkins on the blog this year because, well, I just didn't want to. But because I've been gifted with smiles and laughter today, I thought I'd end the night with our 2016 Halloween pumpkin story.
For many friends who have been with us for a few years know that we carve pumpkins every Halloween and we make sure to carve one for Piri as well -- in the past there was a cocker spaniel, dracula dog and last year it was Zero from The Nightmare Before Christmas. This year, after going through different patterns, I thought it would be better to tell the story of us.
After coming across silhouette patterns we settled on three and improvised the drawings. The first pumpkin (from the left) is of Yangkyu and Piri. We have a similar picture from 2010 of them playing like that at a dog run. Piri jumping up like he was a puppy. The middle pumpkin, is of me and Piri having one of our staring contests. We had many, and he always won. The last pumpkin is of the three of us stargazing. Yangkyu had always wanted to go out west and stargaze under the desert sky with Piri and me. We never got that chance, and so we thought we would carve it instead.
Happy Halloween everyone. Happy Halloween, Piri.