This is my first Easter since Mom passed away; and it was interesting to reflect on my memories of Easter from my childhood. In the 1960s Easter was a time of renewal, which also included new clothes — an Easter dress, an Easter hat, and a new spring coat. Mom would sew nearly identical coats and dresses for my sister and me. New clothes were not whimsical purchases. We were treated to new dresses at Easter, a birthday, the start of school and Christmas. There was no such thing as casual shopping. A new dress and coat at Easter was a treat that just happened to coincide with the need for a spring coat.
Looking at old images it is mind boggling to recall that one had to wear a hat to church! Head covering was not optional. I also remember shopping at Grants [a local 5 & Dime} for spring hats. We laughed hysterically at some of the outrageous offerings. I remember in particular a white knit hat shaped with cardboard that had multitudes of black beads hanging l like icicles in rows surrounding the pillbox.
Mom continued to tradition of hunt for Easter eggs and filling our baskets with chocolate eggs,Peeps, jelly beans and plastic eggs filled with dimes until we were in our 20’s — because it was fun. Then we would gather for the traditional Easter meal of baked ham, blueberry muffins, green bean casserole, and (bleh) candied sweet potatoes (which I was not forced to eat for reasons best left unsaid).
When I awakened Easter morn this year knowing Mom was no longer available to call to reminisce about those fond memories of childhood, I asked her to send me a sign that there was a heaven, that she was okay, that she could still hear me, that I wasn’t alone. The rest of the day the same thought kept repeating in my mind “ This is the day the lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad”.
I can state with absolute certainty that outside the confines of a Catholic church that phrase never entered my mind. And yet, all day yesterday the thought cycles through my brain. I knew it was Mom telling me that she was okay, that there was a heaven, and that I needed to celebrate life every day and embrace whatever the Universe offers. I have today. I must celebrate each day with joy and gratitude for having the good fortune to wake up, hop out of bed, get dressed and greet with open arms and an open mind what opportunity is available.
While the phrase did not resonate with me previously, I now understand what this means: This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
Thank you, Mom. I miss you!