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My best Halloween treat ever

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POSTED October 23, 2009 2:28 a.m.
Over the years, Halloween has taken on different meanings for me.

As a kid, I can still recall trick-or-treating in the streets of my old neighborhood dressed in costume and joined by friends. We toted pillow cases or grocery bags filled with candy and other cavity-causing sweets, with one eye on the lookout for those bag-snatching bullies.

It happened to my friend and next door neighbor Don, who had his bag full of treats taken from his grasp right in front of his home during one such encounter.

As a young adult, Halloween was about the parties. During my college days, we had to get creative when getting dressed up for these occasions, making do with what we can find in the closet or any of the secondhand clothing stores.

I once came dressed in the role of a “gang banger.” So convincing was this look that I was nearly denied entrance to the big bash of the year.

Life in the real world was about the opportunity of traveling.

During a family trip to our neighbors to the north some years ago, we were nearing the end of an eight-hour train ride, traveling from Toronto to the capital city of Quebec.

It was Oct. 31, 1992.

What kept this trip from being exhausting were those glimpses of the countryside from the train not to mention the foliage.

Darkness covered the walled city of the old Canadian town upon our arrival. By then, trick-or-treaters were making their way to the various shops along this tourist destination.

It was as if we never left the states.

According to the website, www.novareinna.com, the Halloween celebration in Canada dates back to 1800s with the arrival of Scottish and Irish immigrants.

Like here, Canadians carve out Jack O’Lanterns, with festivities including parties, trick-or-treating and the decorating of homes with pumpkins and corn stalks.

Halloween – commonly referred to as “All Hallows” Eve – as we know it is celebrated throughout various parts of the globe.

Oct. 31, 1995 changed my life forever.

That was the day my son, Josh, was born. According to his doctor, Gail Mallard, he arrived a few weeks early, and experienced some respiratory problems that left him in the hospital for a couple of days.

It was an exhausting and long day, with mother and baby doing as well as can be in the hospital.

I arrived home late to an empty house with two bowlfuls of candies and no trick-or-treaters. Instead, I had time alone to think about my new role in life. It was an overwhelming moment of both happiness and fear.

Many Halloweens have passed since that day, with every October consisting of plans on what to do for Josh’s birthday.

It’s a role I cherish.
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