Jack-O-Lantern Smile

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Jack (c. 1972)                                              My mother, age 12 (c. 1949)

I treasure this plastic light-up jack-o-lantern from my youth.

Is it because it reminds me of the kid I used to be? The one who didn’t want to wear the lion costume her aunt had made because she thought she had to trick-or-treat on all fours? The kid who, along with her sister and brother, was scared to death Halloween night when the country neighbors’ door opened to the sight of a fresh side of beef hanging in the cellar stairway? The kid who never could stand the constant call of the candy in her sack, and whose loot consequently never lasted out the first four days of November?

Well, yes. I love old Jack for all those reasons, and one more.

He smiles just like my mom used to. Of course, she had lovely teeth, which poor Jack could only envy. To me, though, the resemblance is heartwarming.

I wish you all a very Happy Halloween, and one thing more.

May someone’s smile call back the ones who were dear to your hearts.

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