Halloween is the saddest holiday.
Rick and I had a tradition. Every Halloween, we would sing a song. OK, it was usually May or July or whenever I finally made it down for Christmas or Thanksgiving or some random weekend. But still. Tradition.
It was a Halloween song from our childhood, one that lingered like candy corn in the bottom of the bag. For some reason, I could only remember the chorus.
“Halloween’s the night to dress up like a sight to give your friends a fright LOOK OUT it’s Halloween!” But I had no idea how the verse went.
And that’s where Rick came in. He had an encyclopedic memory, if encyclopedic is a word, and it might be. At least through the H’s, which luckily is where Halloween landed. He would sing the verse in that silly Rick sing-song tone. Then I would sing the chorus. And we would both sing the end: LOOK OUT LOOK OUT it’s Halloween. We would swap look outs back and forth and laugh ourselves silly. We were always silly.
That went on for 70 years ago, which is a bit of a miracle given that he’s only 65. Journalists’ lives are measured in dog years. But it was my favorite holiday.
And now it’s the saddest. I might have mentioned that.
They give you a lot of information when you pick up the dementia handbook. How he’ll start to change. Things will disappear. He’ll lose the ability to cheat at Scrabble and totally punk you at crocinole. What they DON’T tell you is that you’ll lose the Halloween song forever. Probably because it’s just too damn painful to know.
I won’t see him at Halloween this year. But when I do next month, I’ll break out the song. Who knows? Maybe that will be the one thing he remembers. Christmas miracles happen. I saw it in a Hallmark movie.
And if not, that’s OK. We still have the disembodied Little Ricky ventriloquist dummy head. Some Halloween traditions never end. Unless June sent Little Ricky to the farm in Ballinger.
If so, it will be the saddest holiday.
LOOK OUT! It’s Halloween.