It was on this date seven years ago that I saw my mother alive for the last time.
We had taken the kids trick-or-treating around our neighborhood and, as was our custom, then piled into the car to trick-or-treat at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Mom had had a rough summer and autumn: An aortic aneurysm (her second) had been detected in July, and she was flown to Mayo for emergency surgery; the surgery went well, but seemed to trigger respiratory problems that saw her in and out of the hospital for the rest of the summer, culminating with a month's stay at a nursing home for respiratory therapy that didn't seem to accomplish much. Still, she had been home for about a week when Halloween rolled around, and in fact was feeling, looking, and sounding much better. We would later say that we thought she had turned a corner, but didn't realize which corner; one week later she died.
Here is one of my favorite photos of my parents, from their dating days, which would make it around 1953. It always makes me smile.