It was Halloween, 1967, not quite three months since my 18-year-old brother, Tom, had passed away. My parents were deeply grieving the death of their eldest child while caring for the remaining four of us.
Dad and Mom had been out, taking the younger kids trick-or-treating. When they pulled into the driveway Mom noticed a couple of strange looking characters on the front porch. They seemed too big to be kids, but they looked pretty odd and Mom was curious about them.
When she got to the porch she realized that the strangers were actually two of her very good friends, Dolly and Sarah, in oversized, mismatched clothing and goofy hats pulled way down over their eyes. “Come on,” they said, “we’ve come to take you trick-or-treating!”
Mom gave them plenty of excuses — she didn’t feel like it, she didn’t really want to, she didn’t have a costume. “Oh, yes you do!” they said, as they pulled an entire outfit, just as goofy looking as their own, from a bag.
Finally she relented. And she had a wonderful time. She considers it one of the greatest kindnesses she received during that period of grieving. Those dear friends pulled her out of herself that night, allowing her to laugh and reminding her that she would be okay.
There’s nothing like good friends!