A Haunting Halloween

A Haunting Halloween…..

I have many fond memories of Sarah and James growing up at Halloween.   There was always excitement and fun to be found in the cool, crisp fall air.  We always made our last camping trip around Columbus Day and came back with pumpkins, corn stalks, mums – and one year a van full of bees!  Very exciting!  These are all great memories but sadly, as we reach Halloween each year I can now only clearly recall one which I refer to as “A Haunting Halloween”.

Sarah was sick, she was weakening and had been hospitalized for some time.  A few days before Halloween she had what turned out to be a chemo seizure which was pretty scary but a relief in that the original thought was that she had a stroke.  Sarah struggled the next several days and was adamant about being home for Halloween.  She rallied her strength and vehemently told the doctors she had to be home for the holiday and wouldn’t take no for an answer.  Sarah’s treatments had increased and her condition was barely stable.  In the end Sarah made a deal with the doctors so they would discharge her late Halloween afternoon and she had to be back at the hospital for treatment 8:00 the next morning.

Sarah was discharged and we got home from the hospital about 5:00 PM on Halloween.  Sarah was in a wheelchair at this point but immediately wanted her M&M costume so she could go trick or treating.  We could not refuse any requests at this point because Marissa and I knew that this Halloween – October 31, 2002 – would probably be her last.  In fact, we knew it would be and were only hopeful that we would make it to Thanksgiving, or even Christmas; but that hope was fading.
We took Sarah to a few neighboring houses as as we rolled up to each one Sarah delicately struggled to stand up from the wheelchair and say her “trick or treat”.  Her M&M costume had white gloves that gave off a chocolate smell if you rubbed them and she told a couple of the neighbors to ‘rub my glove’….   Sarah enjoyed that Halloween and with no argument rose early the following morning to fulfill the promise to be back at the hospital at 8:00 AM.

That Halloween haunts me with both happy and sad memories.  Sarah got what she had wanted but it was all bittersweet.  As fate would have it, it was Sarah’s last; she passed away just 2 weeks later.  We never did make that Thanksgiving or Christmas but Sarah will always be my favorite blue M & M.  SarahJamesHallow2002


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