As a child my mom would take my sister and myself to a store and buy us a pretty Easter Dress. I particularly remember one year when the store of choice was Pier One Imports. Now this was the last time I went into that store so I don’t know if they still sell clothes, but I walked in, and at age 10, saw the most wonderful thing I had ever seen. It was a long blue skirt with pink flowers and ruffles- a Cowgirl Skirt I called it. Looking back today on it, I’m sure my mom said of me what I say to my daughter; Tacky, just tacky.
I went home with that skirt and a crème colored button up top, with matching ruffles. I remember wearing that dress so proudly as we went to my Grandma’s house that year for Easter. I twirled in her driveway showing it off and taking in the compliments. Once I had been admired by my family, my sister and I ran around my Grandma’s land, which was at least several acres. Hidden in every nook and cranny were plastic Easter eggs. Some filled with candy, some with chocolate that was partially melted from the heat and some with various coins.
Meanwhile, inside a feast was coming together. There really wasn’t a kids table as we all got to sit together. Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents and siblings were all there to celebrate. There was so much food you would have thought that our Easter meal had been prepared for an entire Military division! To the table we all gathered and waited intensely to enjoy all the foods that had been prepared. The blessing included thanks, forgiveness, kindness and love; words for wisdom and strength as well as for friends and family. Last but not least for the nourishment of our body. Then that final word, Amen, was said.
It was time. Not just time to eat until you’re so full the only option left was a long nap, but time to listen. My sister and I would sit silently and listen to the stories that our family members would tell each other. Stories of humor and sadness, stories of what if I won the lottery and stories of the past.
While the day started off with me in a skirt I adored, it ended with me not caring anything about it or the hidden treasures I had found outside. Instead, the real treasure was sitting at the table, surrounded by love and family, remembering those who couldn’t be with us or were no longer with us.
It was, for a 10 year old, a true reflection of the meaning of Easter. We were given a second chance to live and to enjoy everything around us because we were loved so much. Without that ultimate sacrifice, that Easter Sunday and the memories that came with it would not have existed.