to find Patti Singleton these days.

Happy Halloween!



The photo is of the first Halloween that Paul and I celebrated together, with our little grands surrounding us. This is Cora, who is now seven and still remembers her “Papa.” These are some happy memories that still make me smile.

Everyone who knows me, knows that holidays are not my thing and never have been. My children are lucky that I had two holiday-happy best friends while they were growing up. I can still feel the energy that they brought to each holiday and/or celebration.

I’m also not religious, but the Waldorf school that we were involved with for several years, brought holidays closer to us with myth, nature and reverence, all in a gossamer water-colored package.

Then there was Paul. He loved my playfulness and I loved poking and prodding the curmudgeon that he often projected. I knew better. A curmudgeon doesn’t enjoy making others happy by coming up with special surprises that fit each person like a glove. And they don’t laugh until tears are running down their face. Oh, and they don’t have half a room dedicated to holiday decorations.

Sure, the room was from a time when he and his late wife raised their children. But Paul kept it up by hanging the lights and putting out the holiday decorations. On our own, neither of us were really into all that, but together? Man, did we have holiday fun! We were young again and silly, and it almost seemed like we challenged each other to be our funnest holiday selves.

We even bought silly costumes and presents for our dog Jake and the felines, Oliver and Abby. The year before he got sick, we went to all the after Christmas sales, and bought everything blue and white that we could find. We filled totes in the holiday room with tons of blue Christmas bounty. We had so much fun making plans for an awesome blue Christmas the following year.

No, our theme Christmas didn’t happen, but those memories still make me smile. We relived our crazy shopping spree and plans while we were in the hospital fighting leukemia, and they made Paul smile too. And we never gave up hope for our future blue Christmas. We also laughed to tears while we planned crazy Halloween costumes for the future.

For the first time in 4 years, I think the happy memories and tears are over shadowing the sadness and tears. That’s a good thing, right?

How do you feel about Halloween and the holidays?



Author: Patti Singleton

Pursuits of happiness include gardening, walking the desert, reading, writing, photography, traveling and genealogy.

19 thoughts on “Happy Halloween!

  1. There was a song (I think 50s) about a “Blue (blue, blue Christmas”, one I vaguely recall the tune too. never learned to sing well though. Christmas is the only Holiday where we usually go all out around here. He is with you all days, not just Holidays.

  2. “For the first time in 4 years, I think the happy memories and tears are over shadowing the sadness and tears. That’s a good thing, right?”
    This is a GREAT thing Patti!

    • Thanks Heather! It has been tough dealing with all these different griefs. While I am gaining some footing over Paul, I still have a long way to go about the others, esp Tiven.
      It is so hard to explain how confusing all of these deaths are to my heart and my head.

  3. As someone who DOES get into holidays, and all their religious significance, I love to see how making holiday memories brings families closer, and supplies so many memories to help with the grieving process. I know it isn’t easy for many who associate holidays with sadness and loss. So it is even more important, I think, to celebrate them in line with the Good News that seems to be underlying even the most secular holidays. Just because of this post, I hope I’ll be a little more sensitive to those who might not need a “Happy” or “Merry” wish, but would respond to an, “I love you!”

    • I love your openness and ability to embrace other thoughts, beliefs and perceptions!
      Just when I think I may offend someone, you get a life lesson from it:>)
      Thank you for being here, Susan.

    • I have to say thank you to Susan for this! How wonderfully insightful! You’ve managed to make a little knot form in my throat…and nearly a tear… You’ve reminded me of an earlier intent of my own…

      As a waning holiday enthusiast myself, and also of the rather agnostic (for an oversimplified label)… it’s not the words of the message, so much as the message that it delivers…

      …and yours delivered! 🙂


  4. That’s definitely a good thing, Patti. It takes a long time to feel we’ve turned that corner. Halloween or Samhain is a darkening time, a liminal threshold time where most of us pull in–but out you go into a new world. Love your memories of dear Paul and how you created fun and dreams together. I miss my playmate, too. May the elves and spirits be with you.

    • They are jumping in my bags as we speak:>)
      As I mentioned to Heather, it has been hard sifting through my multi-layered grief to see where I am with each person that our family has lost. I am at different places in the process with each loved one. And today when I wrote about Halloween I noticed I was smiling about my time with Paul…I do miss my playmate, but so many people have never even had one. I’m glad that both of us did. xo

  5. That is a good thing…Patti!

  6. I’m happy to hear time is working it’s magic for your tattered dreams and sole. I love the holidays but mostly don’t have the energy to go all out. when the kids were younger we did more. Now it seems less important to decorate or spend money of frivolous things. There is a bit of problem with that in that you don’t make the memories such as you described. Having those memories and family traditions is very important for the family. I believe the family is the nucleus of society. We learn how to be citizens of the world in those family units, what ever those units are made up of. For each family it is unique. And that’s how it was planned by a loving Father in Heaven. Even though you claim to not be religious those principals you live by are the same. If you do it to the least of these my brethren you have done it on to me. I love you Patti

  7. Hi Patti, I love this graph “I’m also not religious, but the Waldorf school that we were involved with for several years, brought holidays closer to us with myth, nature and reverence, all in a gossamer water-colored package.” Nicely written. I was so moved by Samhain this year that I wrote like a madwoman in thanks to the mystery. Always enjoy your blog and sending best wishes to you, Judy

  8. Yes, it’s a good thing 🙂

  9. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your holiday memories, Patti.

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