For several years now, October is a bittersweet month for me. It is the month of Halloween—all the Halloween candies go on sale 01 Nov. Gimme all the Reese’s and Kit Kats!

That’s one of the positives. Now, I only have one job to deal with, so I will be free to get overtime whenever they offer it at Cracker Barrel. I won’t be restricted by the schedule of a second job. Come Turkey Day, I’ll be able to get a crap ton of hours.

What’s the good without the bad? Within the next week, I will need to keep myself occupied to avoid thinking and overthinking. My dad’s birthday is this month; he would be turning 88 this year, but he passed away in 2007. It seems strange that thirteen years have gone by already. The pain subsides, but it never goes away completely. It gets easier, but it’s never easy.

In addition to this, the tenth (three days from now) marks twelve years since my brother died; the date was 10/10/08. I didn’t really get along with him, but his death was sudden, but not surprising in retrospect. Right before he died, he went into an epileptic-type seizure. His daughter, in the moment of panic, did CPR on him (but he hadn’t stopped breathing). My brother had just eaten a burrito about an hour or so prior, so the chest compressions caused him to throw up, and then he aspirated (breathed) the vomit, which ultimately killed him. He was 42 at the time—he would have been 54 now.

Like I said, my brother and I didn’t really get along. He had always antagonized me throughout my life, in one way or another. I have peace in that respect now, but he’s still my brother, and the news of his death that day was quite shocking.

The positive thing I remember was that, around the end of May 2007, by some miracle, my sister came to visit (she lives here now, at the time, she lived in Arizona), as did my brother. For the first time in many years, my parents and all four kids were together. My dad was in the hospital this one day, so on 05/28/07, we got together and took what turned out to be our final family pictures. Previously, one person or another was not available. This would be the last time all six would be together at the same time.

Here is today’s quote:

“There are lots of scary things about getting older, but one of the biggest, I guess, is death itself. Especially in midlife, when we suddenly wake up to the fact we may have fewer years left than we have already lived.”

Kate Garraway

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