This was not a particularly memorable Easter, yet all holidays are memorable in some way or another. I began the season of Lent with many good intentions and, as usual, achieved only a fraction of those intentions. Life “happened” to interfere with some, but my own procrastination or avoidance interfered with the rest. In an interesting twist, genealogy eased some anxious moments and provided an Easter bonus. Tears happened. Dogs disrupted. Food was prepared. And consumed. So here are a few random thoughts from this Easter and Easters past….
Treasures Once the kids were grown and (mostly) out of the house, decorating for holidays seemed to lose something….. their participation…. their anticipation… and my desire to mark events for them in special ways. I haven’t decorated for Easter for several years, but I decided I would put out at least a few things this year.
The first things I got out were these sequined eggs. They are special to me because my mom brought this craft with her on a visit one spring. She had made some for herself and taught me and the kids to make them. It was probably one of the last craft projects she did with them, as they were getting older at the time and we don’t live close to mom.
I went to the garage to peek into the big storage box with Easter things. I found it filled with Easter baskets, Easter grass, plastic eggs, and several dozen eggs I had blown out and the kids had dyed and decorated. Most people throw those eggs out when Easter is over. Not me!
One year I glued ribbon to a bunch of the eggs and hung them on the cafe curtain rods in the breakfast room bay windows. I decided to do that again. If you click on the pics you can see my young kids’ handiwork.
My husband and I used to stay up the night before Easter, filling plastic eggs with candy for the kids. Way too much candy! I found more than 5 dozen plastic eggs in that tub. We always ate a few chocolate eggs and M & Ms while we worked and stashed some away for ourselves too. And then we had to hide them. Preparing for the Easter Bunny may have taken us almost as long as preparing for a visit from Santa.
The plastic eggs are gone now – a bit of de-cluttering happened along with the decorating. Our church hosts an Easter egg hunt each year, so I filled some of the eggs and donated the rest of the empty ones for someone else to fill.
Side Benefit of Genealogy
Last summer we took my mother-in-law to Denison, TX so she could visit the town where her grandparents had lived. We stayed in the town where our son lives – about an hour from Denison. My husband has a cousin (not 1st, but some other cousin relationship that I’m too lazy to figure out) who lives in the same town as our son, so she joined us on our genealogy trip to Denison. The next day, she had us over for dinner and our son came along. It was the first time he had met her.
Fast forward to last weekend. Our son was feeling so badly that he took himself to a walk-in clinic during the week and was told he probably had gall stones. He had an ultrasound Saturday morning and that afternoon the doctor called and told him he needed to go the hospital immediately. Our son lives over four hours away from us. We called the cousin and she met up with our son at the hospital and stayed with him until he was told (about 5 hours later) that he would not have surgery that night. What a blessing to know that she was with him while we made our way there!
We spent Palm Sunday at the hospital and our son had surgery that morning. The surgery went fine, although the surgeon said he didn’t know how our son had been walking around with his very enlarged and damaged gall bladder. His recovery has been without incident and we left him Tuesday afternoon (with his roommate and the cousin a phone call away). He doesn’t like to be fussed over and he was ready for us to leave. Our dear cousin invited him over for Easter dinner. Genealogy provided a deeply appreciated side benefit!
Tears A friend whom I haven’t seen for several years has kids about the same age as mine. This past fall, her strapping 21-year-old college student son had a stroke and was diagnosed with an extremely rare type of cancer. They have spent the last months fighting the cancer with all their might. When we returned to our motel room after being with our son in the hospital, I received an email notice that the cancer was spreading quickly, treatment had ended, and he had been moved to palliative care.
My son had avoided serious complications from his health scare and would be fine. Their son would not.
During the Easter Sunday service, our minister showed a clip from the movie Steel Magnolias. It sure hit that place of pain and sorrow over the loss of a child.
Well, I can’t seem to make the clip about the guardian angel embed and neither of these clips include the lines about the privilege of being there when her daughter was born and when she left this world. I’m including the next clip from the scene – but our minister stopped it before the part when her friend suggests someone to hit.
Anyway – this sure hit home realizing that my friend’s family was spending Easter in hospice.
Food I did not go all out this year. Bought the ham on the way home from church on Easter Sunday! We were all well-fed even though I hadn’t done much to prepare ahead. The vegan child could eat everything but the ham – garlicky smashed potatoes; roasted carrots and parsnips prepared with honey, butter and crystallized ginger; my new favorite salad to use my CSA box greens, rolls and apple pie (also picked up on the way home from church).
Dogs!! Thank goodness I’ve made an appointment with an in-home dog trainer and he will be here tomorrow. Our puppy (Dreamboat) has come a long way, but he barked at my other daughter and her dog as if they were intruders and he would never stop barking at her dog…. in a mean way. He spent most of Easter in his crate upstairs. The upside is that our other dog, Lola, and our daughter’s dog, Gloria, got along so much better than they ever have before. Dreamboat is kind of a scaredy cat and I guess he lashed out in fear. He’s a sweetheart most of the time…
Hallelujah! Our Easter Sunday service always ends with the Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah. Anyone who wants to is invited to come up and join the choir. It is so magnificent and always gives me chills. I love it. Here is a flash mob version – reminiscent of the invitation for all to participate. Enjoy!