Some years, my kids and I will sit by the grave of a relative or pet, light a candle and share a meal while we share our favorite recollections. This year, the Girl Child was bombarded with studying as she had worked and had friends over most of the weekend, and the Boy Child still had friends lingering from our Halloween festivities the night before. While the kids that aren’t mine are very nice people and generally welcome, for me, Dia De Los Muertos is both a sacred and a private affair.
So, after my Dear Partner and I had hit up the post Halloween sales at Michaels and World Market, we grabbed a candle and Chinese take out and headed to the graveyard where my Grandparents and my Step Dad are buried. While he never met any of them in real life, he has certainly heard stories, and it seemed appropriate that he be along for this.
As the sun went down and the clouds rolled in, I ate chow mein and reflected on the impact each of these people had on my life.
My Grandparents were a pivotal part of my youth~ I spent countless hours of my youth in their home playing pirates and watching cartoons with my older brother. Every childhood vacation that I recall was a road trip with them. I always felt like I was the Apple of my Grandmother’s eye~ she was both proud of and protective of me. As I told my Dear Partner, I cannot remember a single instance in my life when I actually felt as if my Grandparent's were truly disappointed in me. Even when I blew it and completely messed up and they knew about it~ they still always loved me and I knew that for sure. In fact, the idea of their knowing that I messed up was a bigger deterrent than any actual consequences that could come from my mischief.
My Step Dad was a different story. He came into the lives of semi angry young teens and wrestled and strong armed well meaning attempts to be an authority figure we were not looking for and sometimes actively rebelled against. It was not an easy job. It wasn’t really until I was grown and a parent that I could really appreciate my Step Dad efforts. I may not have agreed with all of his methods or actions, but I can acknowledge that he was trying his best and I know without a doubt that he loved me, my brother and our mom. Their divorce was an unpleasant affair, even though I was grown and had long been out of the house. It still fragmented our family and sort of made it feel my kids now had Grandpa Who Must Not Be Named. His funeral was hard, but I’m glad that my kids and I went. I’m even more glad that we went to see him in the hospital before he died.
I’m also glad I got to share more memories of these important people with my Sweetheart.
Along with remembering, the first of November is the start of so many other things I enjoy.
It’s the kick off of National Novel Writing Month, and while I have absolutely no desire to attempt writing a novel, I do like the idea of a self imposed writing goal of trying to type at least 50,000 words in the next 30 days. Perhaps I will make up for some of the many weeks I posted nothing on my blog this year?
(Disclaimer~ the challenge of NanoWrimo is more about quantity than quality, so bear with me….that’s over 1600 words a day!! That may be a little ambitious, as I’m rambling galore right now, and I’m not even to 600 words... In any case, I can’t promise thorough editing, but will attempt some~ and while my writing may be a bit disjointed, I promise not to post every single bit of long winded, incoherent nonsense I come up with.)
November is also Art Every Day Month, and I am liking the idea of being on board with that challenge too. Today, I worked on coloring a skull mask for Dia De Los Muertos, but in general, I’m liking the idea of trying to tie at least some of my daily art making in with my attempt at being not hectic at Christmas, and do some holiday gift making.
Speaking of holidays, Halloween in our new home felt just right. Each kid had a gaggle of friends to stay the night and roam the neighborhood~ all of us so happy to be in our own space where we could have friends over and be within walking distance to civilization.
The Grown Ups had a few friends to chat and laugh and tell stories with as well. We carved pumpkins, had chili and corn muffins, cupcakes and pizza and ate at least as much candy as we handed out to trick or treaters. I stayed up late chomping chocolate and watching Doctor Who in bed while the individual packs of teenagers were guffawing loudly in their rooms into the early hours of the morning.
It was mellow, fun and happy and felt just like a holiday at home should~ a great way to kick off the upcoming season of celebrations.
At right around half my daily word count goal, that’s all I really have to say. As in most things, some is better than none, right?.
Happy November! Wish me luck!