It came again this year. Last year, our first Halloween without Sammy, it actually snowed. I was amazed that it snowed and I was creative in expressing my love for Sam, with a little help from my friend, Robin. We made a Jack O’Lantern with Sam’s name on it and in place of the “A” in “SAM” we had a heart symbol for the love of the one we so adore and miss. That evening several of us played Euchre and Rummy in the company of family and friends as we cherished our love for our son and brother who by sign of a vacant seat at the table was not here. And a year later, he still isn’t here.
This Halloween, at our new home called “heaven’s view” in another language, Nick was off to work at his first part-time job while only yet a Junior in high school. He really enjoys it. I experienced the joy of seeing him hard at work while he didn’t notice I was there not too many days ago and he’s such a good boy. The same as his brother but in a totally different way. I was there to drop off his cell phone which he had forgotten at home in his haste to get to work after school and on time. I walked in to where he works and recognized the one who looks like he belongs with me, immediately. I stood there to watch him until he had a break in his activity and we could make eye contact. As I waited, another, obviously more senior, likely Nick’s supervisor I quickly surmised, employee, asked if I needed help. I explained to her that I had something for Nick and was just waiting for the moment when I wouldn’t interrupt him. She smiled and past me by. Nick and I then made contact and I quickly gave him his phone so I wouldn’t interrupt him and get him off the obvious routine he was in and seemingly knew well after working there for nearly four months. My second-born son gave me that smile that melts my heart as I envision it coming from one of the deepest places from within him and then I left; with a smile on my face.
As I left, the senior employee past me again, and I recognized then even more so that she was obviously in charge of the evening’s activities that included my son’s paid role. She asked me, “Are you Nick’s mom?” I shook my head and proudly said, “Yes, I am.” She then proceeded to tell me what a great work ethic he had and how he was a real rock star and that she treasured having him work with her. I smiled and said, “Yes, I think he is pretty special myself.” Then she most seriously looked at me and she said, “Mom, you did a great job.” I know it came from her lips and it was her tone of voice but for me, I heard my Sammy and I heard an answer to so many questions I have asked myself over the past year since losing him.
So this Halloween, in our new place, there were some decorations but it wasn’t the years past usual Halloween decoration fare inside or out. And rather than be at home on Halloween, which was a Saturday night this year, I went out to BJ’s. That too, was a mild celebration, in that BJ’s was a place that Sam and I went on our own for dinner on many nights as he loved the BBQ Chicken Pizza. I can remember many engaging conversations there with just Sam and I; talks that will last me my lifetime now. So that is where I was on Halloween.
The last time Sam truly dressed up for Halloween, he and his probably longest-time friend other than Nick, dressed up as the opposite sex. Sam thought that was so funny. I helped him pick out one of my skirts, he chose a black one, and he wore a matching purple sweater set. His hair was fixed and his jewelry was a necklace of mine he chose. I didn’t realize it until coming across the picture but it was the same necklace that I actually wore this year Halloween evening. I don’t often wear it and at the time I wore it that evening it matched the shirt I was wearing nicely so I chose it to wear. At that time, I didn’t recall that Sam had worn it too, on the same holiday, several years earlier.
Nonetheless, there I was with the necklace on in a place that I shared with one of the most beautiful inside-and-out human beings that I will ever love and only one of two people on this Earth that I will call my son; with my mother’s undying love. And then arriving back home from BJ’s Halloween evening, the snow from the year past, this year, turned into rain. #muchlovetosam