I have a love hate relationship with Easter. I grew up going to a rather strict Baptist church where Holy week was a big deal, so I got to know the days of Holy week and actually like them. The town I grew up in was rather religious as a whole, so on Good Friday, most of town would shut down from 1-3 so everyone could go to church. I always enjoyed the quietness of Good Friday services; for something so sad for Christians, it was also such a hopeful time as well and you could feel it in the air. Easter Sunday of course is probably the most beautiful church service of the year (in my opinion!) and the sunshine, flowers, and just the general NEWNESS of the holiday is nice. Even though we don't regularly go to church anymore, Easter Sunday is still probably my favorite religious holiday...which is why I'm torn on it.
When I was 18, my grandmother passed away the week before Easter and we were all together for her funeral and then a week later we were all back together trying to pretend to be happy and cheerful when all of us were clearly grieving. My grandma was the one (at least in my mind) who *made* the holidays. We were always at her house or my uncles' house with her bossing everyone around and most of my memories from the holidays are of her. The year she dumped WAY too much sage in the gravy at thanksgiving and created her fantastic green gravy; the year my father dropped her gravy bowl, the year she complained loudly that no one ever remembered what she wanted for Christmas as she was unwrapping the gift she'd told us about months ago, and the bag of potpourri that she and my father passed back and forth as a gift for years because neither one of them wanted the other to NOT have it. The year she died, joy at Easter slipped away for me.
For the kids' sake, we dye eggs, we do baskets, bunnies, and egg hunts but it's hard for me-I always wonder what my grandma would be like with all these great grandchildren. I have a feeling she'd be overrun with fluffy bunnies and chicks JUST to make them all happy...and some baby pigs as well, maybe some turkeys, probably a dog or two...I'd imagine they'd all be as happy as my cousins and I were at her house; playing on the swings, climbing in the hayloft and chasing kittens, and swinging on the huge branches of the weeping willow in her yard.
And now you know my secret about Easter...