Sunday, October 26, 2008

End of October

Cool days and cool nights. Multi-colored leaves on the trees turn our mini-Smoky's into a patchwork of yellows, oranges, bright reds, dark reds, browns, and greens. For these reasons October is my favorite month. I like September because it's almost there. The changing season can be felt. But if I had to pick, I would have to choose October. We've had a good October, not a rainy one. Too bad I didn't take advantage of it like I should have. I did, however, get a good supply of over 100 square bales of the best timothy hay we've ever had and at a good price. For that, I am more than pleased!

I don't like Halloween. I really wish it would just go away, but, of course, I know that won't happen. I feel "celebrating" Halloween is a hideous custom and I have never found it fun, at least in my adult life. I'm sure I saw it as fun when I was a kid and getting a bagful of free candy, but later, I have come to detest it.

Some of these feelings may have come from events that happened in my life, which always seem to happen this time of year. When I was little, about 4, my grandpa died on Halloween. I was in the hospital with pneumonia. My memory of that time is of being in an oxygen tent and throwing up, alot. I didn't know anything about my grandpa. My parents had their hands full Halloween that year.

I was suppose to have been a turtle for Trick-or-Treat and a parade. My mom had gone all out designing a turtle costume for me out of a cardboard box. I remember helping her paint it green. The only time I can remember she really got into helping with a costume for Halloween. But, I can't blame her for wanting to avoid Halloween in later years since it was her father, and then 15 days later, her mother, who both passed away that year.

In 1997 #1 son had to have surgery on Halloweeen. He'd had an accident playing soccer back in July of that year. He'd been a promising goal keeper. Broken femur and compressed peroneal nerve behind the knee, which resulted in paralysis of his left leg. The surgery was a God send because the local doctor had basically told us, deal with it! He won't be playing soccer again let alone be able to run. He will have to have a brace and a severe limp. Well, I knew there was someone who could help us, somewhere, I just felt it in my heart, so I started calling doctors in Columbus, Ohio. To make this a shorter story than it is, I did locate a children's neurosurgeon who felt there was hope.

So, on Halloween, in 1997, when #1 son was 14, he had to have a 3 hour surgery to remove scar tissue from the main nerve that travels down the leg. Removal of the scar tissue would enable the other nerves to grow back and communicate once again. He has a resulting scar that runs from the middle of the back of his his thigh, down to mid-calf. As the neurosurgeon explained, hundreds of stitches both inside and out. Whenever one of #1 son's friends has had a minor complaint, he has been known at times to show them his "war" wound, though he has never dwelled on it for very long. He has taught me about perseverance, that's for sure!

Fortunately, the '97 Halloween was one we could celebrate. His accident is one of those events in a lifetime when you remember things as life before and life after. #1 son was able to regain use of his leg after 6 more months of rehab, he'd had 3 months before the nerve problem was determined.

But, Halloween will often bring me memories of the emotional time #1 son spent before the surgery and his fight back toward use of his leg afterward. Memories of the local doctor telling him the verdict, the pain on his young face at hearing it. I know, I try to think of the positives from this event because at 25, #1 son has accomplished a great deal for himself. He actually ran track his senior year of high school! Though his motivation was a cute little girl on the track team, who is now his wife, the first time I saw him run the mile, I cried. I still tear up about it. Instead of taking a senior trip after his high school graduation in 2001, #1 son hiked 125 miles of the Appalachian Trail in Maine. He tells me 1997 and his ordeal made him stronger. I believe it. He won the West Virginia Grappling Tournament last year and is involved in MMA. He's now at Ohio Universtiy studying for a Master's Degree in Environmental Studies. I guess we always tend to remember the hurt we feel through our lives. It's just human nature.

My dad has had health problems over the past 5 years and most of them have occured in the month of October, usually around Halloween. Makes me wonder sometimes why Halloween is such a marker for health problems in my life.

A week ago, #2 son had to have surgery to repair a deviated septum. He'd been having problems while away at college but of course, didn't have the time to get anything looked at. Finally, his hearing was involved. So, when he came home this summer, I suggested he get it looked at. He's doing fine. I had to have a FNA (Fine Needle Aspiration aka biopsy) Friday for some nodules on my thyroid gland. Not a pleasant procedure no matter what they try to tell you! My doctor told me she won't have the results for about 10 days, which puts it after Halloween. My adored cat Jinxy (one of the 5 kittens #1 son rescued) died around this time last year, she was only five.

On the good side of Halloween for me, I remind myself, my two beautiful Spotted Saddle Horses, my lifelong dreams, came to me just before Halloween 4 years ago. So, if I look deep enough, with all the hard stuff that has happened around this time of October, I've also had some great stuff going on too. There is a balance. Oh, and I can't forget that Hubby and I had our first "date" in October. We went to the Circleville Pumpkin Show, way back in October 1980. He tells me the little peck on the cheek I gave him at the end of the evening was his moment of revelation that maybe I was "the one". If nothing else, he told me once, "I knew you kinda liked me."

I am always in the process of reminding myself, in this often negative world, to look for the the bright moments, the candle in the window. Where there's dark, light can be found if you look for it. I still don't like Halloween, but I can get through it by concentrating on the candle flame flickering through the dark.

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