Christine Richardson spoke to her mother, Mary, on the phone, and she did not sound her usual self. She seemed off, as if she hadn’t had a good night’s sleep or something. Richardson wanted to lift her 91-year-old mother’s mood and cheer her up.
“She was kind of in a little bit of a funk,” Richardson said in a phone interview with McClatchy.
“She always talks about seeing her grandkids and her great-grandkids, so when I spoke to her Sunday morning and she sounded down, I thought, you know what, we’re going to go visit. It’s Halloween, it’s trick or treating, we’re going to go see the grandkids. I said ‘All right mom get up, get dressed, I’m coming over to get you,’ ” Richardson said.
Mary did not understand what her daughter had in mind when she said that to her. She was a teenager when she moved to the United States from Croatia after the World War II and so was already too old for trick-or-treating. Mary’s family sure celebrated the holiday, but Mary herself had never gone to celebrate this particular tradition on Halloween.
“The whole concept of saying trick or treat, she had to learn,” Richardson said.
While on the drive to Mary’s grandkids’ house, Richardson explained to her mother that she was to knock on the door and when someone opens, she is to say “Trick or treat!”
On reaching the house and Mary knocking the door, Richardson says, “I stepped back and (her grandson) answered the door, and she said ‘Good morning, my grandson!’ And I said ‘No mom! That’s not it!’”.
Everyone had a good laugh as Richardson took Mary inside the house with candy for the children and food for the family meal.
“The kids sat on her lap, gave her hugs and kisses. Mother was just beaming. She was just so tickled pink.”
Richardson was determined to get her mother to try the whole process again. “I said, ‘You have to say trick or treat when they answer the door!’ ‘Okay,’ she says to me’” Richardson mentioned.
But even this time, it hardly worked. Mary said the golden words before the door opened and when it actually did open, she said “Good Morning!”
“I’m like ‘Noooo mom!’ ” Richardson laughed.
But they had success the third time. Mary finally said “Trick or treat!” when her family opened the door. Richardson was so proud of her mother. She captured the beautiful moments on video and photographs and posted them on Facebook.
“She had a blast! And she got so many hugs and kisses and pictures too! She just couldn’t stop talking about tricking all her great grand babies!” Richardson wrote.