Now that the kids are grown and almost gone, my Halloweens have been relegated to relaxing on a white rocker on the front porch and greeting the parade of carefully decorated children exulting in the wonder of dress-up, disguise, and free candy. Over the years I’ve enjoyed looking for costumes that are funny, clever,original, cute, scary, elaborate, and even a little intoxicating. However, I never met an inspirational costume, one that made me feel better about myself, feel noble, and even cry, until last Wednesday night.
A Dad approached our porch surrounded by a gaggle of cute, excited, sugar-infested children. I don’t remember how they were dressed, but they were all happy to be at my doorstep, and each received a few pieces of candy in their bag. Suddenly, from the looming darkness behind the children, dad thrust forward an iphone and I heard a tinny, young voice brightly proclaim “trick-or-treat!” Another tiny assistant held out a bag to receive her candy. I looked up at the phone screen and on the other side met a young bald girl dressed up as a patient in a hospital bed. Except she wasn’t dressed up- she really WAS a young bald girl patient in a hospital bed!
They were virtually trick-or-treating for their ill daughter/sister. This family had it together. Via the miracle of modern technology, they had found a way to carry on what must have been a family Halloween tradition even in the face of serious illness. I grabbed a huge handful of candy from our bowl, dramatically waved it in front of the phone screen, and made sure she saw me dump it all in her bag. Her eyes sparked wide in excitement and gratitude. I wished her a Happy Halloween then quickly turned away so they wouldn’t see a grown man cry.