As I stood in Super Walmart caressing the little pumkins marketed for pie-making (directions printed on a sticky label stuck to the little guys even), I contemplated buying a couple for the cemetery. Jesus Christ! My life is no longer about making a nice pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving...it's about whether this is the perfect pumpkin to take to my dead kids.
So I suppose it was the sight of the little sticky label with pie-making directions that made me deem these particular pumpkins not quite suitable for the dead kid brigade after all.
A couple other things are stuck in my brain with that moment...
Steve saying that we couldn't just buy our carving pumpkin at Walmart because that would take the fun out of it. We had to make our annual trip to the local nursery and wander on the hill, searching for the perfect pumpkin. I remember the fun of the trip last year. At some point, Sam had a meltdown and I shoved him in the minivan while Steve went to pay. It was five months post first dead kid and I still wasn't in any mood to deal with that life. Ah...good times.
And then the carving last year. We took pictures and it looked like a relatively happy event. Just the three of us. Now I look at those pictures and don't even see the painful smiles. Instead, I see myself wearing a bracelet in honor of Alex's memory. Back in the era of one dead kid. Was it better than now?
During my first year of college, I remember my parents came to visit me during one weekend when I was suffering a particularly bad bout of homesickness. My mom brought me a little pumpkin. I remember holding that little pumpkin as I watched through my dorm window while my family walked away. A part of me changed forever in that moment. I think it's the same part that hurts right now.
Damn little pumpkins. Can't I just simply make a pie?