by Marsha Ward
I used to enjoy Halloween. I was into the whole find or make or construct costumes for the kids and take them out to make the rounds of the neighborhood. And then, they were old enough to go by themselves, and I sat by the door to hand out the treats.
In 1997, life changed. My husband was in the hospital with a mysterious malady that had been treated as pneumonia but wasn't. He had been poked and pricked and drained and biopsied, and was ready to get on with life, if he could just get shed of this thing and go home. It was October 31.
His doctor and the surgeon came in, and life never was the same.
Both doctors wore solemn faces. As they spoke, we began to have an inkling of the doom they pronounced. My dear husband had an aggressive, terminal cancer, which had a very high mortality rate. Very few had survived it. My husband would not.
Lawyers make a lot of money these days on mesothelioma lawsuits. In those days, we'd never heard of it. My husband lived only ten and a half months after the diagnosis. It came with bone-chilling, blood-freezing force, more powerful than any fright a child could receive reading ghost stories.
Nowadays, I avoid any celebration of Halloween. If I buy candy in October, most likely I'm going to consume it, not Trick or Treaters. The day has lost any enchantment for me. It's only a day to remember when our lives took a very bad turn.