You see, the first grade classes at our elementary school do what they call "The Ugly Bug Ball" parade for Halloween. And if you know my son, Jack, then me telling you that he came home and told us he wanted to be a FLEA comes as no surprise to you.
Ahem. Yes. I said a flea.
Yea...we laughed too, but he was very serious. When asked why...he informed us, that no one else would be a flea. He likes to stand out and be different...can you tell???
And if you know me....then you know that I have always enjoyed attempting to make Halloween costumes over the years, and much like the cakes they ask for...I take it as a challenge. But a flea?
That was going to be a wee bit difficult.
I remember my mother-in-law, Mable, getting the biggest kick out of Jack. The rougher and tougher a little boy was....the more she liked it. I mean, after all, she had raised FIVE boys. Yes..I said five. So it would stand to reason, that when I told her Jack wanted to be a flea, that she laughed that mischievous laugh and couldn't wait to see what in the world we were going to come up with.
And in typical, "Leah fashion", I had waited until the Wednesday before The Ugly Bug Ball on Friday to get my material and supplies for the costume. Don't ask me why...I seem to work better under pressure. Okay...not really, but it's how I roll...and I wish it wasn't.
My husband and I had pretty much decided that it was going to require a stiff type of foam material to make it to where it would stand up in the back....like a real flea. And he would know....he manages his brother's veterinary practice...I think he probably has seen his share of fleas.
So off to the local "salvage" store where they sell all types of fabric in a very crowded, small little area. We were on a mission. Jack and I walked in, and didn't have time to waste.....so we explained the flea "dilemma" to the man working there, and within minutes, there it was. Black 1/2 inch foam....perfect for the flea costume. (okay...so the picture was brown, but black was easier to find, and frankly....who cares!!!) Inexpensive....God had blessed me yet again. Umm....yea....of course I prayed about that one! He always leads me right to where I need to be and helps me find what I'm looking for!!
Mable had left me a message earlier in the day when I had been working, and not wanting to call her and have to quickly hang up while I was in and out of my "flea errands", I made a mental note that I would call her later when I got home. I couldn't wait to tell her that I had actually found the material we were looking for. She was a fabulous seamstress, and I knew she would appreciate my find! But we still had a black hat, black (ahem...long johns...not tights ;-) & a turtle neck to buy to complete the look.
So I came home and Darwin and I got down on the floor to draw out the pattern....cut it, and begin the daunting task of sewing it. By hand. Mmmmhmmm.....that's what I said too, but that foam proved to be much harder to work with than I thought it would be, and no machine I owned would be able to sew it.
This would be where upholstry needles come in handy. And I'm sure everyone has a few extra of those laying around the house. Lucky for me...I did. So there we were....literally pushing the needle through with all of my strength, and him pulling it through the other side. Back and forth....until it was almost finished.
And then the phone rang. I knew by the sound of his voice that something was bad wrong....and I scrambled around trying to figure out what to do next, as Darwin rushed out the door.
His mama had a stroke that night, which was the result of a hemorrhaged brain tumor that we never knew existed..and within 36 hours, Mable went to live with Jesus. That was a year ago today.
I never got a chance to call her back that night. I took for granted that I would have another opportunity to talk to her. That's a lesson I wish I wouldn't have had to learn the hard way.
Mable taught me so many things....and I miss her dearly. There are so many things I wanted her to be a part of.....so many things I knew she would be proud of. But God chose to call her home before those things happened. And this side of heaven, I will not know why.
Take this opportunity to tell someone you love them. Don't put off a phone call you've been meaning to make. We never know what the future holds.....
Jack was still a flea for the The Ugly Bug Ball parade. Mable would have wanted it that way. And I could almost hear her saying that his costume turned out "great!!" and laughing her mischievous laugh and saying, "I love it! That youngin' wanted to be a flea....now you let him be a flea!"
I think he turned out to be a pretty darn cute little flea. I think Mable would have thought so too.
I'm just sayin'.