Today is Halloween, my Mom's favorite holiday. No, she wasn't into ghoulish things; she was into children. She had five of her own but so many more were in her heart and in her front yard on Halloween. Mom would buy every little animated figure with a motion detector. She loved to see the children's reactions as they approached the front door and one of the figures would suddenly come to life.
My brother and I live locally and every year we had to be at Mom's early in the day to help set up all the displays. My brother is a professional musician and would set up his sound system in the trees out front and have "The Monster Mash" playing loud enough to hear it a block down the street.
We would get into costumes ourselves and sit in the rocking chairs or on the swing on her big front porch. Often we would remain still and suddenly come to life as the children stepped up onto the porch. We would set up colored lighting (my brother's) so it looked like a movie set.
Often, the children would be so amazed at their surroundings and all the moving and noise making figures that they would forget why they were there. Parents often had to coax them and tell them to say "Trick or Treat". Then Mom would hold out this great big bowl full of candy and say "take your pick". She never limited it to just one.
When my husband came into the family, he too got into the mix. I remember the year I dressed up as a scarecrow. It was an oxymoron costume because I had a happy face with a big clown smile under that straw hat. A "smilecrow" I guess.
My husband came decked out in his firefighter gear, complete with air bottle and facemask. At first, some children were fearful but we used the garden hose and the "friendly fireman" helped the children spray the BAD ghosts hanging from the big oak trees out front.
But what is memorable is what happened partway through the evening. Many children had already passed and we were sitting on the porch waiting for the next bus load to arrive. That's right, busload.
The church buses and inner city mission buses knew where Mom's house was and would be lined up on the street. We were the first house of many on the street that decorated and the buses would unload, go to the end of the street and wait for the children and parents to catch up and reload.
I was sitting on the swing with my stuffed shirt and stuffed jeans. My husband joined me on the swing wearing all that gear. All of a sudden, the swing that had been there for years came crashing down.
Luckily, we both had plenty of padding and just rolled around on the porch floor laughing because of the look on my Mom's and brother's faces as they jumped to come to our aid. They were terrified and their faces were as scared looking as any child we had seen all night.
My husband and I couldn't stop laughing and soon it was infectious and they joined in. When the next group arrived, they thought it was all part of the skit and got to laughing too, not realizing what the joke was. It was truly a special night. In fact, every Halloween was a special night, . . . . . with Mom.
Those of you that know me know that we lost Mom in February. I am still having a hard time accepting it and tonight is a reminder of all the good times we had on Halloween. But Mom's back with Daddy now and I'm sure they are looking down on us and smiling as they remember those memories too.
This year is going to be different, but the same. This year, we are going over to the Rescue Squad and helping them with their "Trunk or Treat". It is our way of remembering Mom on this day that was so special to her. We are going to hear the children laugh and yes, the occasional scream.
It will be sad but it will be fun because the whole time;
I'll be thinking of you, Mom. Love you and miss you.
Deanna Early is a Nationally Licensed Mortgage Loan Originator at Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. She is the residential loan originator for American National Bank and Trust. She provides home mortgages, construction loans and lot loans. She does both purchase and refinance loans.
Her website is www.DeannaEarly.com
Please contact her for your financing needs at (540) 721-2349 or by email at "email@example.com"