A couple of days ago I received an email that said, “Guess who’s turning 87 on October 31?”, and my breath hitched a bit. Because she’s not. My grandma passed away in January. I immediately went in and deleted her birthday from my BirthdayAlarm account, but I didn’t really need the reminder anyway. Halloween loomed as a day that would be haunted by a new ghost this year–except not the creepy, get-under-your-skin kind. She’d never do that. Or maybe she would for a laugh … Anyway, for my whole life, Halloween has been Grandma’s birthday, and with the exception of the years I was away at college, I always saw my grandma on Halloween. So for the past couple of months, I’ve been thinking about how this Halloween would be different, and I know my family has, too.
I could be sad. I still miss her terribly. We used to visit her every week. I don’t know how many adults in their thirties can say their grandma is one of their best friends, but she was one of mine. She knew my writing dreams, and she was a constant source of encouragement. So, yes, I could be sad today. But she wouldn’t want that. She’d want me to celebrate. Heck, she’d want me to make a joke of it and sing something like “Ding, dong, the witch is dead.” If that sounds awful, it’s only because you didn’t know my grandma and her sense of humor. My other grandma once gave her a broom for her birthday, and she thought it was hilarious. She was the furthest you could get from a witch, but she had a lot of fun with her Halloween birthday.
So, I will, too. I’ll remember the times we had a Halloween birthday dinner and watched her and my grandpa pass out candy (he always counted how many trick-or-treaters came by). I’ll remember how even the last couple of years, when she wasn’t feeling well, she still wore something crazy to commemorate the day. Maybe I’ll even wear something a little crazy myself. And I’ll be thankful she’s dancing with angels today instead of stuck here in a failing body. Love you, Grandma!