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October’s Over & All I Got Was This Silly T-shirt October 31, 2010

Posted by Kimmothy in Life.

I don’t think it’s a secret (or hell, maybe it is but I’m about to spill it) that October has long been my favorite month of the year. Even as a kid, I appreciated anticipation usually more than the event itself, so Halloween, the kick-off to all the major holidays, was and remains my favorite holiday. I got married in October. Here and also in Florida, it’s when the weather finally lets us breathe a sigh of relief for the first time in months for more than one consecutive day in a row. Football and festivals and all things Fall are in full swing and it’s this more than any other time of year I’m happy to be alive. So the fact I’m sitting here, drinking coffee on my porch in a hoodie enjoying the cool air and the ever-changing leaves on the LAST DAY OF THIS MONTH, is hard for me to believe. October is over for another year and I barely had time to realize it as it was happening.

This month has been a roller coaster of amazing highs and really shitty lows.

One of my good friends from Florida came up to visit the first weekend of this month and we spent a fun-filled day in one of our favorite cites, Savannah. We ate lunch at Paula Deen’s, a longtime goal of mine, walked around the riverfront and the historic district and ended the day with a fun ghost tour. Sunday morning as we were drinking coffee and deciding where to eat breakfast before she got back on the road for home, we got a devastating phone call from Brian’s dad telling us our sister-in-law had been killed the night before in a car accident. Needless to say, Annette left shortly thereafter while we sat here in shock.

The accident – it still doesn’t seem possible. Bruce, Brian’s brother, had been out of town in San Diego on business. She had planned to spend the night with friends and the kids, ages five and ten, were with a good friend of theirs. For reasons no one will ever know, Toni decided in the middle of the night she wanted to go home. Without waking the friends, she got up and left, headed the thirty miles back home. From what we’ve been able to figure out, on a dark country road near a church, she ran through a stop sign and went airborn over an embankment and into a deep ditch. The airbags deployed, and she climbed out of the wrecked SUV. She called her husband and started explaining to him what had happened, saying her leg hurt and sounding – understandably – disoriented. While they were still talking, she somehow climbed up the embankment and wandered into the road and was hit by a car. Actually they now think more than one car hit her. The phone call obviously went dead and he started calling their friends, telling them to go look for her, one of her best friends found her and from there the usual chaos ensued – the shock that carries you through all the family and friends and arrangements that have to be made when someone dies unexpectedly.

They live near Myrtle Beach, about two hours from here, so for the next few days we were back and forth a few times and everything was a nightmarish blur. Like I said, here it is almost a month later and I’m still having a hard time reconciling all of it. As with all young, tragic deaths, the big unanswered question is why, though it’s not a question I ever expect to be answered.

Two weeks after that, on the complete other end of the spectrum, I went to New York for an idyllic weekend with my favorite cousin and his family. He’d invited me up not long before that because he knows me so well and knows how I feel about Fall and wanted me to experience it the right way, Northeast style. We ate, we laughed until we almost threw up (really – you should check out the stand-up of Louis CK sometime), we went to an apple orchard and picked apples and pumpkins and I drank the best cup of apple juice I’d ever had. In a word, it was perfect. Scott is one of those people who after I’m around for a little while, I feel like I’ve gained perspective back and just feel good about life in general. It couldn’t have come at a better time.

Also during that weekend, I talked to my sister for the first time in a very long time and she offered me what is turning out to be a dream job. Well, second job. Okay third job, if you count the foreclosure work. She’s a court reporter and her office always needs proof readers. Knowing one of my dreams in life is to get paid for reading, she asked if I’d be interested and I told her yes, very. So that has started and although I’ve barely dipped my big toe in, I love it so far and think it’s going to be an amazing way to bring in more income, which in this house is always more than welcome.

Somewhere in between all that, the truck’s radiator decided it no longer wanted to have anything to do with us and decided to spring a steaming, hairy leak one day during my lunch hour when I’d decided on the spur of the moment to visit a Target all the way across town. It took over two hours for me to travel the twenty-five miles back home, but I managed to do it without blowing the engine up and the next day replaced it for the bargain price of one truck payment. Which, if you appreciate irony as much as I do, you’ll laugh when I say we’d just paid the damn thing off a couple of weeks prior. So to recap: paid off car in June then immediately had to put a new clutch in it, paid off truck and then boom! New radiator. I have to laugh because the alternative is scary.

So that was how I spent my favorite month. When all I’d planned to do was to take walks where I didn’t sweat anymore.



1. iamheatherjo - October 31, 2010

I really wish you and your family could have done without the really shitty lows. I keep Brian’s brother and the kids in my thoughts.

I’m with you. I love October too and wish we could hang out together and kick some orange leaves around. 🙂

Kimmothy - November 1, 2010

One of these days…

2. crisi-tunity - October 31, 2010

Kim, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. What a sad and awful story. I’m really glad you were able to have other good weekends in October, but of course it’s no kind of bargain for the loss of Toni.

And also, now, Bessie is in decent form and the truck is in good form, right? Despite the cost?

Kimmothy - November 1, 2010

I wish I could say Bessie is up and running but no – besides the clutch, she needs a whole new set of sensors. I’m thinking Bessie’s had a good run but it’s time to put her out to pasture.

3. Swistle - October 31, 2010

That’s terrible, that’s TERRIBLE! That she SURVIVED the car wreck, but then…! And that no one even knows why she left! The whole thing is awful.

Kimmothy - November 1, 2010

It is – makes no sense to me at all.

4. Taoist Biker - November 1, 2010

God, Kim, I knew her loss was tragic but … I’m speechless. That is HORRID.

I’m glad you got to enjoy some highs in October, though. It was a mostly cruddy month for me, too, and I’m glad to see it in the rearview. But I wouldn’t trade it for yours. 😦

Hope the rest of 2010, and all of 2011, is better!

Kimmothy - November 3, 2010

Thank you; I really hope so too – for all of us!

5. Tiffany - November 1, 2010

Hugs to you, my friend. Bill and I are both so very sorry for your family’s loss.

Hey, IMHO November is just as good as October (Thanksgiving frenzy aside), so you still have that to enjoy!

Kimmothy - November 3, 2010

I agree – I do have big fondness for November and I plan on enjoying every minute of it that is possible!

6. Shari - November 3, 2010

Oh Kim, so sorry to hear the details of your SIL’s death. It’s just terrible and truly unexplainable why good people have to leave. At least you had some fun things to help balance you out a bit…otherwise….Let’s just look forward to November and turkey and football and SWEATERS! May peace be in your heart through this season.

Kimmothy - November 3, 2010

I’m wearing a sweater right now and my hands smell like onion from a roast I put in the crockpot this morning, so yes – I know exactly what you mean!

7. Jean - November 5, 2010

Traumatic deaths are so much effing harder in the moment than expected deaths. I’ve been *right there* a couple of years ago and I still wake up sweating and remembering the horrific phone call telling me that my brother was dead. Time has dulled the sharp edges, but that’s about all.

But I got a gift out of it too – an incredibly increased appreciation for the good things in my life. My grandma always said ‘there’s no great loss without some small gain.’

Hugs and good thoughts for a gentle journey through this first year without her.

Kimmothy - November 5, 2010

It was the same with my dad, someone I loved more than anyone in the world. You said it perfectly: time only dulls the sharp edges. Thank you so much for your thoughts.

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