Yesterday, my family celebrated Easter.
Now, as you are all aware...I am Christian. Easter has, and always will be a special time. I grew up with the knowledge of what this day represents, and all the days leading up to it. My childhood memories are filled with those of Christmas past, and Easter past. Most every one of those special days, are filled with flashes of my Mother, and my father, and brother. They were days of family.I consider myself very lucky to have those memories. There are other memories filled with my ex--husband, my daughter, my sister-in-law and my nephew. These days were the ones that, along with birthdays, were cause for all of us to get together at my parents, and stuff ourselves full of food, and family time. Those were times I thought would never end, but, without warning...they were gone, along with my Mother.
I'm not sure if the early loss of the one who made these days so special, is why they have become so important to me. I acknowledge that I have been very, very lucky up until now, to spend most of them surrounded by my children and Grandchildren. We go all out with the cooking (not so much the baking), for Christmas and Easter, in my house. It is always packed full. This year, we were missing our son-in-law , who had to work, but another spot at the table was filled with my youngest' s boyfriend, and my Grand-daughters good friend, making an even 10. Two tables filled with family! Again the empty spot that was once filled with our dear friend, who although she is not close enough to be here in person, she is always with us in our hearts.
It is a lot of work, up in the early hours, stuffing the turkey, then out helping to hide the treats for the Grandchildren.. Dogs running about, TV games on the go, bickering in the backroom. Fridge door opened on a constant basis. Someone is hungry, someone is picking on someone else, someone stepped on something prickly, and their foot hurts.
I hear a steady stream of how I favour one of my children over the other...two girls and one boy..guess who they claim I favour? I get bombarded on how I favour one Grandchild over the others, as well. But, I truly hope that this is all in fun. I hope that my children realize they have all been raised fairly, and perhaps, now that they are grown, and one well on the road to having grown children of her own, these arguments are all in fun. All my children and Grandchildren come from the same tree, but, they are individual branches, with completely different designs and needs. I have simply tried to tend to the branches as I saw fit.
I see each of these special celebrations as possibly the last. I wish with all my heart I had known the last one we had with my Mother, and I would have savored every single moment, etching them in my mind. With these, I do that. I pull the camera out, and ensure there is a visual memory of these days, just in case. This has become even more important as the years pass.
Although there are some moments of yelling, and fighting. I no longer get upset if something is spilled, or broken. I ignore the mess, I don't care if plates don't match, and someone has a dessert fork for their meal. I try not to think of the morning after, when I have laundry for the whole day, and a fridge filled with left overs they didn't feel like hauling off to their own homes. I live for the moment on these days. I feel the need to leave some memory of the laughter, just in case.
This day, the "just in case" is closer. Events have occurred that may mean the next special time, we may not all be close enough to all be together. I find it difficult to imagine not having a house full, and this thought was in the back of my mind, all day. I hope that some good memories were planted. I hope that I have followed in my Mother's footsteps, just a little, and given my children moments they will be able to look back and smile about. I hope that these special days will continue to be a time for family, for them, and theirs, long after I am no longer seated at the table. I hope that this Easter was a time good enough for ... just in case!