Mom and Easter

Just thinking….

Mom loved holidays and celebrating with family. Sometimes that included grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, but because we lived a distance from them, it was usually just us. Easter, however, was one of the holidays that we shared with grandparents.

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During the week before Easter, we decorated our baskets. Now keep in mind that it might not be a BASKET basket. It might be a bowl…. or a paper sack. Usually we had some of the green grassy fluff laying around from a previous Easter to line the “basket”. We would put the “baskets” in various places on Easter Eve. And lo and behold….. the next morning, we found Peeps and jellly beans. There usually was no other candy. and I didn’t care for either, but it was still exciting! Occasionally there would be malted milk balls, which I called molded moth balls.

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We would boil and dye eggs, sometimes using crayons on them to make a waxy resist. We loved seeing how plain food coloring mixed with vingar could make such lovely colors. Later, we would eat the eggs: deviled eggs or egg salad.

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Then we put on our new Easter outfits: a cute dress, little gloves and bonnet, shiny shoes. I hated bonnets. One year, I hated it so much that I sat on it and flattened it. That brought tears to my mom.

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Mom would have a special breakfast for us if we didn’t eat breakfast at church for sunrise service. She would make a round sweet bread ring, and decorate it with frosting and more jelly beans. Usually we went to sunrise service, held in conjunction with two other little country churches, with a fantastic breakfast. So wonderful to be in church as the sun rose, singing “Low in the Grave He Lay”, and “Up From the Grave He Arose”. And of course, smelling that breakfast wafting up from the church basement.

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Unless illness or weather intervened, we would go to my grandparents’ in the next county for lunch. We could always count on Grandma having a big bunny cake centerpiece, the kind made with two round cakes (one cut into the ears and bow tie), and lots of coconut and frosting. And at each of our plates was a special favor: a REAL chocolate egg, with fruit bits, or coconut in it. Now that was more my style for candy.

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Back home, we raided our “baskets”, with my brother snagging the black jelly beans. And woven all thru the holiday were the reminders of Jesus: Jesus in the garden with His disciples, Jesus being betrayed, Jesus led off for conviction, Jesus on the cross, Jesus buried, and Jesus alive again. I didn’t get it all at once, but over time, the message became clear. All the celebration we did was because of our joy in the resurrection!

In later years, Mom began to love doing craft work.  She was always too busy when we were growing up to do much craft work, and the irony is that when she had the time, her eyesight began to fail.  So I devised large scale crafts for her to do.  These pictures are of an Easter bonnet and an egg, for which she tore pieces of paper and glued them on.  I think it was cute….. and she had such a good time!.

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For some reason, Mom loved Peeps. I don’t remember when they first came out, but she was enthralled with those little yellow chicks. Later, there were bunnies, and the color choices expanded. But every Easter we knew that Peeps would be at our table setting, and in the centerpiece. This year, I bought some yellow bunny Peeps early in March so that I would be ready to make my mother smile. But she died before Easter, and the Peeps remained in the cabinet until last night. I could not decide on whether to get them out and have a good cry…. or throw them away….. or….. So I decided to set them out on the table. I didn’t cry. Instead I smiled as I imagined my mom would smile on seeing those sweet little fluffs.

I imagine that every “day” is Easter in Heaven (I know that time will be no more there, so “day” is relative”). But Happy Easter, Mom, in Heaven. See you later!

Father…. I am so grateful for Easter.  All the reminders that Jesus is ALIVE!…. that He is coming AGAIN!…. that I can have ETERNITY!   Yes, even as I look at the little yellow Peeps, I can give You thanks for all that you created, and that it is a reminder that of new birth.  Amen

To God be the Glory,

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