A Very Special Halloween

Published on

By Richard Mabey Jr.

The Halloween of 2005 was a most special Halloween. For it opened the door to show me one more example of the immense compassion that resided within the chambers of my late father’s heart.

It was in October of 2005, that Dad was in and out of the hospital. He was fighting cancer. Sadly, Dad had to have his right kidney removed, because it was all so filled with cancer. And now, he was faced with the possibility of having part of his large intestine taken out, because now he was battling colon cancer.

It was about a week before Halloween that Dad asked me to drive him to the nearby dollar store. When we arrived at the dollar store, Dad grabbed one of the little carriages that they had all lined up in a neat row, as one would enter the store. It was very apparent that Dad was on a mission.

With both hands on the handle of the little carriage, Dad looked me square in the eye and simply said, “come on Richie. I want to check out the toy aisle.”

As we began walking into the toy aisle, Dad first looked at the little cars that they had on a pegboard display. To my amazement, Dad put about 20 of the little cars into his shopping cart. With no explanation to me, Dad continued to fill his carriage with coloring books and crayons, little boxes of jigsaw puzzles, children’s story books, and a sundry of other children’s toys.

When we reached the line for the register, there were three or four customers ahead of us. “Richie, I thought I’d buy these toys for the neighborhood kids for Halloween.”

When the cashier hit the total button on her cash register, I was amazed that it all came to over $200.00. Dad opened up his wallet, and without flinching payed the cashier, with a smile on his face!

As we drove home that fateful afternoon, Dad said to me, “Richie, this’ll probably be my last Halloween. I want it to be one that will make the neighborhood kids happy!”

When we got home, Dad showed Mom all of the toys he bought. My mother didn’t say much, although she was rather surprised that my father had purchased all so many little toys. After supper, I helped Dad gift wrap each and every toy, with brightly colored wrapping paper.

When Halloween came upon us, Dad sat by the front door, looking out to our front yard. He had his array of little wrapped toys, neatly lined up on a card table that I had set up for him. As each and every boy and girl came to our front door, Dad invited them in and told each child to pick out two of the wrapped toys. As the children smiled, Dad smiled back to them.

Eighteen years have come and gone since then. Dad went Home to be with the Lord on the sixth of May of 2006. The Halloween of 2005, was to be Dad’s last Halloween. Somehow my father knew that.

In memory, I often return to Dad’s very special Halloween. I try my honest best to be true to the compassionate spirit that abided in my father’s heart. Sometimes, I feel that I fall short of the mark. Life is short. Love one another.      

Richard Mabey Jr. is a freelance writer. He hosts a YouTube Channel titled, “Richard Mabey Presents.” Richard most recently published a book of poetry and short stories. He can be reached at richardmabeyjr@hotmail.com.