This time of year is a tricky one for me. It hasn't always been but last year changed everything.
I have always loved Halloween. I love dressing up. I ALWAYS dress up-usually in more costumes than one. I have been 4 different things for Halloween. It's so fun to me and...I don't want to "grow up" and NOT wear costumes. Simply refuse.
There's more to it than that, I love the leaves falling off the trees, Jack O Lanterns on porches, cooler weather, hot chocolate, trick or treating and getting together with family. We usually all start the night off at my sister's house with soup or take and bake pizza (we are easy to please) the kids rally together and trick or treat around her neighborhood and then we finish up around our own home. It's filled with family, fun and love-what more does one need?
Last year was the first Halloween my dad didn't come down from Salt Lake to see his kids and grandkids. This wasn't his choice of course, he didn't spend a spare second without his family. He couldn't come. His brain cancer had progressed to the point where he was no longer able to leave the house which was heartbreaking for us.
My dad was our biggest fan-in life. He loved the costumes and got the giggles out of seeing everyone in their alter egos for the evening. He praised us on our creativity.
We spent majority of our afternoons last fall up at his home with him. He was on Hospice Care and we didn't want him to be alone. We packed up the kids everyday and headed to visit Grandad with crafts, snacks and things to keep them entertained for hours. We just wanted to be with him.
This year is the first Halloween since his death. It's just not the same. His laugh, his charm, his personality would fill the room so without him it's somewhat empty.
As his kids, as children of Mike Akin we don't want his legacy to go to waste. He was amazing to everyone. He was happy and fun no matter what. We still dressed up in our Halloween best and I know he would have got a kick out of us this year just like every year in the past and probably snuck a little peek just because he couldn't stand to miss the fun.