My Special Easter

By | April 14, 2022
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My Special Easter

Happy Easter!

Raindrops, a yellow tulip, a white carnation, and a brand-new navy-blue blazer.

I was eleven years old on that Easter Sunday – all those years ago – and I remember it so well.

My mom had died the autumn previous, and I felt alone in the world – although I shouldn’t have. My grandparents, as distraught as they were, became, in many ways, my parents.

Looking back, I can now see that my grandparents were traditionalists. They had deeply entrenched traditional values and they practiced them and held them in high regard.

But back then I didn’t label them anything – they were my grandparents – they together were the lighthouse that guided me through a dark and stormy time in my life.

Because my grandparents considered traditions important, Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday were special occasions. And so, they were special to me also… when I was a child. 

I can remember going to church on Palm Sunday and each person upon entering the church was given a palm frond. And if I close my eyes, I can smell the Easter Lilies that lined the entryway and the alter.  I can see the churchgoers waving their palm fronds. I can hear the congregation and the choir singing “The Old Rugged Cross”.  And… I can remember singing along.

It seems like yesterday and it seems like it was another lifetime.

To my grandparents, especially my grandmother, Palm Sunday was nearly as important as Easter Sunday. My Grandma often regaled me with the Biblical story of Jesus entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey. He entered Jerusalem in celebration. But all during that joyous day of celebrating, hate and betrayal were festering in the city’s heart, and that hate would lead Jesus to be bruised and beaten. I can hear Him gasping; I can see Him bleeding – as He dragged the heavy wooden cross along the Via Dolorosa…  the “Way of Sorrow”.

Good Friday

Good Friday was another tradition my grandparents held dear. When I was a child, Good Friday was a day when everything closed – stores, shops, restaurants – between 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM. These were the hours during which. the church told us, that Jesus hanged upon the cross spending his last few tortured hours upon this Earth. 

I will never forget the quiet that enveloped my world between 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM on Good Friday. The only thing I have ever experienced that even comes close to that was the day after 9/11 when the world seemed to stand still.

Easter Vacation

When I was in grade school, Good Friday always occurred during Easter vacation. It wasn’t spring break back then; it was Easter vacation. The world changed and suddenly Easter and Christmas were words you can’t use anymore – at least not in the same breath with schools or government. I’m not saying that is bad or good, I am just saying things changed. Someone let them change. But don’t think the world is any better for it.

Easter

I am eleven years old. It is a misty, cool Easter Sunday morning. Gloomy really. My grandparents bought me a new blazer to wear to church and I’m wearing it, although it seems too big for me. My grandmother went to the florist shop yesterday and bought me a white carnation for my blazer’s lapel. I can smell it without even putting my nose down to it.

I am ready for church before my grandparents and I walk outside into the cool and gloomy morning. I am a little bit sad that I didn’t hunt for Easter eggs this morning – I guess I’m too old for that. My grandmother did put together an Easter basket for me though – it has a big white chocolate rabbit in it. I wish my mom could be with me this Easter. I am having a tough time accepting that she’s never going to come back and be with me again.

My shoes are new and shiny, and I can see misty raindrops on them. It’s not raining really, it’s more of a drizzle that comes and goes. I guess it’s the sky crying my tears for me, because I’m eleven, and I’m too big to cry now.

I notice that for the first time this spring that the tulips are blooming, but just the yellow ones. The red and white ones are not yet ready. Easter rarely comes in March, but this year is the exception. The tulips just can’t be hurried. The yellow ones must grow up faster than the other colors.

I am standing on the porch of my grandparent’s home, ready for church on this strange and sad Easter Sunday morning. I have a new blazer that my grandmother bought for me and it is too big for me, I think. I am wearing a white carnation that smells nice. I am all dressed up because it’s Easter Sunday and it’s nearly time to go to church.

I will never forget that sad and emotional Easter. I will never forget the raindrops on my new shiny shoes. I will never forget the too-big blazer, the way the white carnation smelled… or the bright yellow tulips.

I’ve never had an Easter like that again.  Since then, the world sure got busy and full of itself. No one has time anymore. I don’t know which world is better, but my heart yearns to tell me what I already know… the memories I made are all that I have left of the world as it was.

I wonder if moms and dads and grandfathers and grandmothers know just how important it is to keep traditions and make special memories with their children and grandchildren. Memories are the only gifts we can give our kids and grandkids that will never wear out, tarnish, or rust. And no one can ever take them away. 

Easter is a wonderful time for traditions and memories. Start a tradition. Make some memories. Start right now. It’s Eastertime – a time for renewal and rebirth — and a time to remember and rejoice.

Happy Easter!

5 thoughts on “My Special Easter

  1. Anna M. Cumming

    Beautiful although sad story. I read no bitternes in your heart and that is a beautiful thing. So sad that an eleven year old has to face a tragedy at a very vulnerable time of his life. You, as was I, was saved by a grandmother. I realize now it was a blessing, I hope you realize it too…you were blessmto be lucky enough to have one.
    Happy Easter to all you wonderful folks who make my illiterate computer mind muddle through.
    God bless,

    Reply
  2. Chase

    I really enjoyed reading your Easter story. It brought back happy memories of Easter vacation from my childhood, too. I pray that both of you and all of your loved ones and your fans have a very Happy Easter. (Chase)

    Reply
  3. Patricia McCosker

    I am ccnstantly amazed at the essays you write time and time again. No matter what the topic ,your essay opens my mind up to its considerable content and I learn so much from it. How on earth do you do it? I think you must have the mind of a genius in the literary world.
    Like all of your readers I am a big fan of both of you and hope you have a happy easter
    Tricia

    Reply
  4. Ruby Mailander

    Happy Easter a beautiful, beautiful story , so happy you had grandparents who loved you so much !

    Reply
  5. Lisa H

    We live life moving forward, but understand it looking back. Easter memories certainly fall under this old adage. Just reading the essay brought back many heartfelt memories of yesteryear. We can truly learn important elements of life from the grands in our life ,both past and present. Sunday will come soon..it will tap me on the shoulder and remind me of hope, trust, and faith. Our home on earth is just temporary. A new mansion awaits one day…HE IS RISEN-

    Reply

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