To My Grandchildren


    1971 October 29:  Another damp day but I am going to check on the pecan trees this afternoon and pick up enough to make a pie....

    Kim has all her Halloween things.  I bought her a tiger face, a pumpkin to carry, and a hat and a trick or treat bag.  She is so excited about it.  “Where do the witches stay during the daytime?”  So I told her they were all asleep so they could wander up and down the road at night.  Later she came to me and said, “I don’t want to walk down the road tonight.”

    October 31:  Kim did not know about Halloween until I told her and bought her things.  She was excited and a little frightened.  She wanted a cat face but it was too large, so I persuaded her to get a tiger face.  She relu
ctantly agreed, but she never ceased to wish for a cat face.  I think the tiger was too strange.  When I put it on her, and her tall hat, she looked at herself in the mirror and raised the face cautiously to see if hers was still behind it.  Her face was serious, but when she saw herself she smiled and said, “It’s me!” so relieved.  All day she kept asking, “When can we go trick or treat?  Where are the goblins and witches now?  When will they come out?”  I made up stories and told her, all of which she wanted to hear again and again.  You have never seen anyone so excited about Halloween as Kim was.  As we ate supper and she looked to the west at the golden sunset behind the pine trees, you could see just about whatever you were told to see.  Witches in black could really be identified, black cats, bats, goblins, all waiting for the time to fly away, jump down, or be about their Halloween travels. Kim stared in silence. At the first noise she heard, we told her that the time had come for all these black creatures to start Trick or Treat.  She ran to Clayton in his den so she could neither see or hear.  Gary took her to Edna’s where all the Hall gang was gathering, then he and Sandra came back.  But they were restless. Kim would be tired.  She might be frightened.  They would find the

bunch and give Kim her jacket. She might be cold!  Just then they got here.  Richard was carrying Kim and Jennifer, and Kim wouldn’t go with Gary and Sandra.  It sure was funny how Gary and Sandra looked.  This Halloween is all she has talked about all day.

    1984 March 20:  Kim, April and John!  You are at the center of my life.  Grouped around my God, as the core of my everyday living, you surround every turn I make, as the adults look on smiling and grateful to see my joy at having you.  These adults I love, as I love you, are Gregory, “Uncle John”; Gary, your father; and Sandra, your mother.  Hovering over me like a cloud, sometimes dark and sometimes light, is the spirit and love of my life-partner, Clayton, the father of my children and your very own grandfather, who left us
to wrestle with the memory of him.  He was very ill for such a long time.  He brought frustrations to us, and often left us perplexed, and the mystery of his sick mind turned our world upside down.  Kim alone, of all the three lovely grandchildren I adore, may be able to remember him.  April, on the day of his funeral, flitting around among the host of relatives and tombstones in our community cemetery, reminded me of a beautiful yellow butterfly.  She wore a pretty yellow dress; Kim wore blue, and John, still not born on August 7, 1981, lay quiet and untouched in his mother’s womb.


photos: Granny Gladys and John (1982)

                and Kim in Mulberry Cemetery