gypsycardsMy mother receives a mysterious Halloween card every year without fail. The card, usually unsigned, always features some sort of witch on in it. The sender is a long lost friend of my mother’s – someone she has not seen or heard from in years – save for this little tradition.

As legend has it, my mother and this woman were friends back in the day and were colleagues in various social and charitable groups around our town. One year, as part of some fund raising event, my mother dressed as witch, complete with green make-up, and staffed a booth where she told fortunes for a small donation to the cause.

My mother purchased a set of tarot cards, which included the briefest of explanations of what the various cards meant, and settled in for her task. My mom would turn over the cards, discretely refer to her cheat sheet and dole out the fortunes. For the most part people took it all in good fun and shared a laugh or two as a result. Said friend, we are told, made a donation to have her cards read and sat down with my mother the witch to have her cards read. And that is the rest of the story…

The details of the ensuing exchange are pretty much lost to history, but basically whatever my mother told the woman based on the cards, spook her so much that she walked away stunned. She apparently told everyone she could that she thought my mother really was a witch because the reading of the cards was spot on.

I think the lady was more or less joking about thinking my mother was a witch, but I also think that she believed there was something mystical about it all. Anyway, the witch incident became a thing between the woman and my mother that lasted for the remainder of their friendship until they drifted apart to the point where they are just long lost acquaintances. All except for the card that comes once a year at Halloween.

Why do I bring this up now? Well, recently I was going through one of the many boxes of stuff from my parents’ house that are now in my custody and I came across the original tarot cards my mother used all those years ago.

I knew them instantly and remembered the story about the witch and the old friend. I am going to keep these cards in a safe place, perhaps with all of my Halloween decorations, and bring them out every year and think about all the little things we can all do to surprise and delight old friends.