Halloween used to mean one thing for me, candy of course. All it was about was putting work in to score some loot. As years went by I enjoyed thinking of a costume, my favorite being an accident victim. I would hang out downtown Front Street in Lahaina, one of the places to be for Halloween.
Then when I was married and had a child it was different. We didn’t believe in Halloween and its pagan origins anymore and went to our church for their “Hallelujah Night” that had games, an evangelical message, and of course candy.
One Halloween afternoon before we left for church we got a knock at the door and there was a little princess with her mom. I didn’t know what to do. It was the first time in my life I had answered the door of my own home to a trick-or-treater. I said I was sorry, we were out of candy already. It wasn’t even dark yet and the mom didn’t fall for it. She called me on it and I think we ended up giving the princess a packet of Top Ramin or maybe a juice box.
Days before Halloween a few years later at the same apartment complex I was playing outside with my kids. My daughter, Naomi, was home from the hospital after another round of chemo. I heard her suddenly shriek in terror and begin crying in anguish. She ran into the back door and I looked at where she had been. A neighbor boy was pulling off a scary mask and smiling. He had popped up and frightened her and thought it was funny.
But it wasn’t funny. Naomi had been terrified because she had seen things like that before while lying in her hospital bed. They were morphine induced hallucinations before, lions and monsters. Her mind, already frightened with the thought of cancer killing her would create manifestations of her fears to be in the hospital room with her. Now, one appeared to her again as she was supposedly safe in her backyard with her siblings. This wasn’t being scared in a fun way, she thought she was going to die then.
I gave the kid a talking to. He had no idea and had not meant to be mean or insensitive at all. But I told him that Naomi had to live with the fear of dying. I don’t think I ruined the kid’s Halloween, but I did ruin his fun that afternoon.
After that I never got it. How is being scared fun? I don’t begrudge others for liking it. But I would ask them to give me a break too. What’s fun about horrific costumes and makeup? Is it because everyone enjoys a good laugh when the fright wears off? What if not everyone does?
Forgive my rant everyone and I hope you all have fun doing what you do tonight. I hope you get good candy.