Growing up, for me, Easter was a big day. We would invite our large extended family to our home for an Easter meal and sugar-on-snow at the Sugar House. The ground would be muddy and damp and the smell of boiling maple sap filled the air. We would walk down the dirt road to my dad’s sugar house and drink warm,fresh maple syrup from the canning tank. We were surrounded by family and friends. It was a happy time.
As an adult, I would generally mix up my Easter plans. Tim and I lived too far from family to make it to a Sunday celebration, so we would generally celebrate with friends in their homes or the homes of their relatives. Every year was different and I grew to enjoy the new traditions we were developing as a family.
Last Easter was my favorite as an adult. We invited a large group of families into our small apartment for a potluck brunch. We enjoyed mimosas and set up an egg hunt in our shared backyard for our toddlers and babies. It was a warm, beautiful spring day, and Madison was vibrant and alive with the energy of renewal. We were surrounded by friends and happiness. It was a beautiful day. A happy day. It was the last holiday Tim and I were able to truly share together, as our little family of four.
This year is different. We are here in Vermont, on the cusp of a move into our new home, still living with my parents. We had planned on a quiet (sad) day at home until a gracious family member thankfully invited us to their family gathering. The kids got treats and books and flower seeds from the Easter Bunny. I’m doing what I can to keep it together and share a good day with my kids.
The concept of Easter to me feels like a joke this year. The myth of resurrecting from the dead a cruel reminder of my dead husband sitting in the plastic box in our cupboard.
I keep thinking of last year, and the years before when we were able to enjoy the celebration of spring,. The rebirth of the earth in the Northern Hemisphere, the promise of things to come. We are undergoing a slow, painful rebirth this year. The Spring brings memories of Tim’s last weeks, his death, the aftermath. It brings the promise of a new home, healing family trips, a new garden, a new start. I wonder what next Easter will look like. Feel like. There is hope for the things to come. And pain in that hope.
I would give anything to bring Tim back from the dead.
Today, I’ll settle for happy kids, chocolate bunnies, melting snow, and ham.