Happy Halloween everyone! As promised, I have a couple of mysterious stories for Halloween. This holiday has always fascinated me, although lately it's not my favorite. I must admit I get a bit overwhelmed with all of the doorbell ringing, hyperactivity, pumpkin carving and rushiness of the evening. Some years I handle it better than others. Do you remember Halloween being so rushy when you were a kid? I definitely prefer a 1970's or 80's style Halloween. I see this holiday as ushering in the winter and a time to recite spooky tales and poems. In that spirit, I will be donning my black gloves, witch's hair and hat for trick or treating with the kids this evening.
Anyhoo, despite my recent discomfort, I am still fascinated with Halloween. I mean it's the prelude to All Soul's Day or Samhain when we honor and remember the dead-the ones that got us here in the first place.
Many years ago, my great grandma (Granny) was very sick and in the hospital. One night, her daughter, my grandmother, was dozing off at home in her bedroom. She had been very worried about Granny. Suddenly Grandma woke up. She sat up in bed and looked out of her bedroom window. In the evening, she saw my Granny outside even though she was supposed to be bedridden in the hospital. Granny walked past the window and said to my grandma, "I'm gone." Right at that moment, the phone rang. It was the hospital calling to let Grandma know that her mother has just died.
My grandma told me this story rather matter-of-factly, and it never scared me. I always found it mysterious and rather comforting.
Now the second story happened about two months ago: My dad's father was on the cusp. We knew he wouldn't last long, but no one was sure how long. As we sometimes do during these upsetting times, we start focusing on "little" things and plans. My mother was at work when she got the call that Pop Pop might not last the week. She had been planning for my great aunt (my grandma's sister) to visit that weekend, there were meetings to head, the grass needed mowing, etc. I told her she needed she get up to see Pop Pop and to forget about the grass and other obligations she had.
When mom returned home from work, she was still struggling with the thought of her obligations and her need to see Pop Pop. As she turned on the computer to check her work email, something curious happened. A portrait of Pop Pop seated in the middle of the entire family suddenly appeared on her monitor. Now she had not clicked on or even seen this picture in months. It wasn't set as her screen saver either. It was just an everyday family portrait saved in the photo files. It was the first thing mom saw when she turned on the computer.
Needless to say my mom immediately packed up and headed to the mountains to see Pop Pop. He died a few hours after she saw him.
So that's it-my All Hallow's Eve stories. It's something to think about-souls, living, dying, celebrating life, our ancestors and each other.
Happy Halloween friends!