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Hallowe'en Must Go On

I left work at noon today and met Stephanie on the bus.  We went to the Hilltop chapel of Schoedinger Funeral Home for the funeral of Mindy Hanners and her three children, who died early Friday morning in a horrible house fire over on Wisconsin Avenue.

The funeral was standing-room only.  Every branch of the family is quite prolific, and all of them were there en masse.  Mindy and her children were all buried in a single casket (closed, of course), and there was a TV screen featuring pictures of all of them.

Among the mourners was Anna, a teenager we came close to adopting 2-3 years ago.  (She had a change of heart, since she knew we would make her stay in school.)  Proof of the lax attitude of her caregivers--Anna had her three-month son there, along with the son's (I think) father.  If we had adopted Anna, the two rules we would have chiseled in stone were stay in school, and take birth control shots.  (If she was on The Pill, she would have taken it in our presence every day, and we would have made her lift up her tongue and turn her lips out--like the way they gave out meds when I was in a psychiatric hospital.)

I'm straying off the title of this entry.  Susie and I went trick-or-treating last night, and when her feet got tired, we sat on the front porch and handed out candy.  Much to my surprise, around 7:15, here comes Maggie and Savannah, two of Mindy's sisters, both of whom survived the fire.  We forgot to ask where they're staying (I think the Red Cross had them in a motel immediately after the fire), but they were all for collecting candy and dressing up in spooky costumes, not dwelling on the tragedy.  Their mother (or aunt, I wasn't sure which) was standing on the sidewalk just outside our fence, crying and wiping the tears from her eyes.  I think the kids had experienced enough real horror in the past week that indulging in purely make-believe horror was a relief to them.



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