I love Halloween. I always have. Call me a big kid, but I’ve always loved the chill of a good fright, the mystery of a good costume and the fun of decorating and carving pumpkins. This holiday only comes second to Christmas…a close second at that.
I’m always teased that I decorate more for Halloween than for Christmas, and maybe I do, but only so our house can continue to live up to the moniker of “the haunted mansion!” However, this year I was afraid my enthusiasm for Halloween would be dampened. You see, it was a year ago on Halloween that we learned mom’s cancer was terminal. Dad called around supper time to let me know the bad news. Mom had been admitted to the hospital a few days prior due to the complications the tumour was creating. She was in horrible pain. I remember sobbing in a heap on the floor, my husband trying to console me. I didn’t greet our small group of loyal halloween-ers last year either.
The last few days have been hard. Don’t get me wrong. I decorated, even more than last year as that fell a bit to the wayside with mom being so ill. I celebrated the little trick or treaters and made the best treat bags ever this year (which is easy when you only have 6 kids who visit!) I even wore my halloween hat…one that has a bloody knife attached to the top. I explained I had a terrible pumpkin carving accident. I made mummy wiener wraps and pizzas for supper and shared them with one of my longest friends and namesake. I enjoyed the night, which I was afraid I wouldn’t. Now in the following days, I am no longer distracted by the preparations for the spooky holiday and I’ve found the memories of my mom seeping into my mind. I miss her and she’d have enjoyed the fun of the holiday too. Even after all this time, I still find myself thinking that I can’t believe she’s gone.
It’s been hard for dad too. He’s been doing so well. He’s working, helping friends and joining clubs. He’s even considering volunteering for the cancer society as a driver. He’s living, however I think that the time of year has really hit him and he’s sounding pretty sad. He’s never been one to talk about his feelings but he has lately. He’s mentioned Christmas is not something he’s really looking forward to. I will do my best to start new traditions. Ones that will not detract from mom’s memory but will maybe emphasize moving on with her in our hearts. He just says it’s not going to be the same without her and he’s right, it’s not. You can’t fill the void she’s left, never will, but it makes me want to try to live a fuller life in her honour. I don’t want to miss a thing.