Description from Kaydee: Prospect Manner belonged to my family for as long as anyone could remember. ‘The Door’ was at the top of the stairs, which led to the attic. My sister and I were always told – don’t open ‘The Door’. We knew Mother had the key, but we never saw her use it and she would never let us open ‘The Door’.
Halloween 1948, I remember it like yesterday. It was a beautiful crisp autumn day. I was 11 and so excited to go ‘trick-or-treating’. However, my sister, age 13, called it ‘childish behaviour’. She was much too old for such silliness. Everyday she talked about how she couldn’t wait to be an adult -- so she could go places by herself; wear make-up, high-heals and stockings; date boys; drive a car and do all the other grown-up things she felt she should be doing.
Mother always said, “don’t wish to grow up so soon, enjoy being a child – you’ll be an adult many more years than you are a child”.
But my sister got me thinking. Maybe I’m too old to go out for Halloween too. Maybe I should stop playing with dolls and think about high-heels and makeup. But today was Halloween and I really wanted to go trick-or-treating, I really wanted to dress up in funny clothes and get lots of yummy candy. Couldn’t I be a child just one more day?
My sister offered to help make my costume. Great – decision make. She said, “We’re going to get clothes and things out of the attic and make you the best costume ever!” She pulled a key out of her pocket, grabbed my hand and ran up the stairs to ‘The Door’. “No!!” I yelled! “Mother said we must never open ‘The Door’." “I’m 13”, she touted, “and I’m old enough to make my own decisions." She slowly inserted the key, turned it, took hold of the doorknob, turned and pushed open ‘The Door’.
Whooooosh……. a gust of air pushed us through ‘The Door’ and out of the house. We were outside our own house, but it didn’t look the same, we didn’t look the same, everything was familiar, but yet again, it was different. It looked like builders were building the world in front of our eyes, piece by piece. Everything was in bits and pieces and so confusing. We started spinning and spinning getting dizzier and dizzier. Where were we?
“Girls, Girls, GIRLS” I could hear our Mother calling, quietly at first but then it grew louder and louder. Just as suddenly as we were pushed out ‘The Door’, we were pulled back into the hallway. Mother had grabbed and pulled us back in.
“What happened? Where were we?” we asked. Mother hesitated but said, “Tomorrow, you were in tomorrow”. How could that happen? Mother explained, “we all have our own keys for tomorrow. Some people wish their lives away and use their key too soon or too often. Just like today – you thought you wanted to be adults, but it’s too soon. You need to live each day as it comes, especially now as children. This is your only chance at childhood – don’t rush through it. Don’t use your key and miss out on today, for tomorrow will be here before you know it.”
And now it’s 63 years later and each tomorrow has become today and each today a yesterday. I will always remember that Halloween for it taught me to always live in the moment, try not to worry about tomorrow for it comes too soon, and most importantly, to keep the child alive inside me every day.
Oh, and yes, my sister is just fine too. She even dresses up on Halloween to give out candy to all the ‘other’ children.
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