Trick-or-treating is a tradition that you usually stop participating in as you get older. But this 91-year-old, who moved to the United States from Croatia as a teen, is just now taking part in the Halloween activity for the first time.
Mary Spaeth’s daughter Christine Richardson decided to surprise her mom with a trip to some houses for candy when Spaeth sounded down on the phone on Sunday.
“She had a bad night’s sleep, so I said, ‘Get up, get dressed, and have your coffee and cookies — I’m coming over,’” Richardson tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
And before Richardson set out to bring her mother trick-or-treating, they put a bit of a twist on the ritual to make it more rewarding for Spaeth and her great-grandchildren, whose houses they were going to visit. To do so, Richardson picked up candy for her mother to give to the children when she showed up at each of their doors, along with pizza and wine for their parents.
“We set out to visit three houses of the grandkids that live locally. She gave them treats, and she reaped the true reward of hugs and kisses and photos with all those kiddos,” Richardson says, explaining that the custom of actually saying “Trick or treat!” took a bit of time for Spaeth to catch on to. “We had to practice what to say, and finally at the last stop she got it right!”
Photos and video of Spaeth going from house to house show just how excited she was to make the surprise visits — although Richardson hilariously pointed out that local Illinois police might have taken issue with the pair trick-or-treating a couple of days early.
Now, the great-grandmother is just trying to come to terms with the fact that her story is going viral.
“She doesn’t quite understand how people see this [story],” Richardson says. “She keeps telling me that so-and-so called and read it in the paper; I correct her and say, ‘No, Mom, they saw you on TV.’”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
• Little girl who admired Michelle Obama’s portrait dresses as the former first lady for Halloween
• 10-year-old dresses up as Waffle House hero James Shaw Jr.: ‘I’m fighting crime’
• NICUs across the country are having Halloween costume contests, and it’s too adorable