It’s Halloween night and the doorbell rings.
You grab the bowl of candy and head to greet your trick-or-treaters. As the door swings open, you hear the rustle of plastic bags and the thudding of plastic pails awaiting their prize.
“Trick or treat!” their voices chime and you smile as you pass out candy to each little creature and character who has come to visit.
You exclaim over their costumes, adding them to the list of visitors you’ve had this Halloween. “What a scary monster!” “What a fancy princess.” “What an adorable puppy.”
I will do the same thing this Halloween. Then, as the kids tumble down my steps and run back to their families, I will think about who didn’t ring my doorbell.
I will remember the children who are missing–the ones who can’t celebrate Halloween. The ones who have died and left behind the costumes and the candy. The ones who have left behind parents who are desperately wishing they were here this Halloween.
When I see costumed children at my doorstep, I will wonder about the ones who aren’t there. Who would they have dressed up as?
When I notice a few extra candy bars left at the end of the night, I will think about the children who are missing this Halloween and every one after. What would their favorite candy be?
When I hear the gleeful cries of “trick-or-treat,” I will think of the children who can’t join in the festive fun. I will imagine their smiles lighting up my doorstep–brighter than any jack-o-lantern’s grin.
When the doorbell is silent, I will remember them.
And I will remember my own daughter. I wish she had a turn to ring your doorbell and smile up at you. I wish she was here so that you could delight in her costume and watch her pick out her favorite candy. I want so badly to hear her giggles as she tumbles down the doorstep into the cool October night.
But when it’s her turn, your doorbell will stay silent.
This Halloween, please remember what joy this holiday can bring for the children who celebrate it. And while you’re thinking of the children on your doorstep, will you do one more thing?
When the doorbell is silent, will you think of the ones who can’t be here? Please take a moment to think of them and their parents whose hearts are hurting this Halloween.