My family dynamics have never been traditional. My mother married and divorced more than once so I've had many step-siblings. Amazingly, I've reconnected with one of them, who I will refer to as AJ. She and I are the same age. She married and had 9 children, yes 9, with ages ranging from early 20s to 6 years old. We hadn't seen each other since the summer we were 9 years old! That's 38 years!!! It's hard to describe how desperately I needed a visit from another mom with so many similarities to me, from how we were raised, to our religion, our mothering and so much more. Not only that, but we were able to put some missing pieces of the past together. At our young ages, we were quite powerless since the adults in our lives were making all the decisions that affected us. Finding out what had happened to each other in all those years helped answer childhood questions and give more perspective to our understanding of how past events had transpired. She is truly my sister.
Given everything that had been going on, it was too much to try and outfit everyone with costumes and go trick-o-treating. Instead, we carved our pumpkins and that was plenty of fun. Everyone was happy and not one piece of candy was involved.