Amid the noise of all the political hubbub, riots, chaos, car horns and cell phone dings is the quiet eruption of mother nature — tulips blooming in an array of bold color, a canopy developing of pale green, cherry trees blossoming with their delicate flowery branches and all surrounded by a sky of blue. The cold domain of winter has transformed into the life of spring.
Easter Sunday is almost here. I have always loved Easter. So many memories flood into my mind. Easter is life.
My mother and I often traveled the 70 miles to Nashville to buy my Easter dress. It was a ritual for us that we loved to do. I was about 8 when she and I had a disagreement about fashion.
I wanted a purple dress and she did not like the color purple. I think I might have stomped my feet, but to make a long story short, I wore a blue dress with a cape that Easter Sunday adorned with a frown on my face.
Once I got to my Sunday school class, everyone started commenting about my beautiful, “different,” blue dress. It was only then that I decided I liked that dress and my mom even better.
Not long before my mother’s death, I bought her a purple blouse. “I love it!” she exclaimed. Then she winked, and we both died laughing.
I wish she was alive this Easter.
After Easter services it was a ritual to drive an hour to my grandmother’s. All of the cousins would be there and there would be food for an army.
After our dinner, we had an Easter egg hunt that even Peter Cottontail would be envious of.
My grandmother was just a grown up kid for 97 years. She loved hiding those eggs over and over. We would play and laugh and play some more.
I wish my grandmother was alive this Easter.
The year was 1962, and I was a teenager getting ready to move to LaGrange, Georgia, from my little town in the Tennessee hills, scared and sad that I would be leaving so many of my friends and family.
My favorite song in my Methodist Sunday school class was “Christ Arose.” It is an Easter song and on my last Sunday there, they all rose and sang my favorite hymn even though it was a hot July day. I would never see many of them again.
I wish I could see them this Easter.
Amy, my first child, was almost one on her first Easter. I tried to teach her to hunt for eggs. She did a good job. She found a bright blue one and put it in her basket. I turned away from her for a moment, but when I looked back, she had tried to eat the whole egg, shell and all, and now had blue dye running all down her dress!!! I can still see her face covered in blue and it makes me laugh still.
I wish I could do that all over again this Easter.
Each Easter while my children were growing, we kept the tradition of my grandparents. Big meals, egg hunts and laughter. Pretty clothes, church and family.
Once Amy was in Clemson University she would bring friends home for Easter whose own homes were far away. Easter was still filled with the same traditions, but now they included the famous family baseball games.
We would put on play clothes after church and go to the park and play ball. Those college kids were left to be children that day. The last spark of their childhood lighting up the baseball field.
I wish I could play one more ball game with all those kids.
This Easter, however, there will be no big meal, no family gathering, no egg hunt and no baseball game.
My children are scattered and can’t come home. My stepchildren are with their mom. My grandparents are in heaven along with my parents, brother and some of my friends. It will be quiet here among the tulips and cherry trees. Am I sad? The answer is simply “no!”
Because of Easter, I believe that I will one day laugh again with my mother. I will one day play again with my grandmother and cousins.
I will one day find my friends from the old Methodist church in Tennessee and see the Clemson kids on a baseball field. And I will be with my children for eternity.
I am sure you have many memories of Easter with people that are now gone, or events you can’t relive. But, if you believe in Easter, then you believe that the sadness of death and loss is just like the winter. The winter always turns into the glorious life of spring.
Maybe this Sunday, turn off the radio and TV, cell phones and chaos, and look at the beauty of nature. Calm your soul, and listen to the refrain of an old hymn:
“Up from the grave he arose; with a mighty triumph o’er his foes;
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ Arose!
And, because He did, Easter means life forever, Hallelujah!”
Thank you, Lord.
Lynn Walker Gendusa is a former LaGrange resident who currently resides in Roswell.