Last Halloween I helped decorate (and haunt) a haunted house for the children of my community overseas. The year before I had helped a different set of children carve pumpkins. The year before that I went to a Halloween party with my friends but not my husband because he was here and I was there.

This year will be different. This year I am with my family, tucked comfortably in their fold, where I belong.

Today I sat on the sidelines as my daughter Jillian and her friends carved their pumpkins on Jillian’s living room floor. Just like we used to do when Jillian was little. Before she went away to college. Before I went overseas. Before, before, before.

So many befores that I didn’t know if I would ever be able to live now.

Then the Universe saw fit that I come home.

And I can finally breathe and just be. Now.

Halloween 2012. *Inhale. Exhale. Repeat from * forever.

I hope all of you are having a great Jack-o’-Lantern day, too.