It's Easter Sunday. I'm transported back to the days in believing that the Easter Bunny would pay a visit, leaving a basket with eggs and chocolate things and jelly beans. Beautiful Easter dresses and new patent leather shoes. Church with the family (Dad would go with us on occasion, and Easter was one occasion). Counting contents and comparing gifts with my sister, Julie.
While Christmas has it's own magical allure, Easter brings with it promise of sunnier days, birds and blooming flowers. It smells better outside, the days are longer. It signals hope.
In my present life, I joke that the bunny can't pay a visit because of my kitties. When I was a EB believer, I used to ask my mom if the bunny would come or would Maggie and Jiggs (the cats of my youth) scare him away. She assured me he had special powers and wasn't afraid.
Yesterday, I called home to ask my dad a question about my taxes. Immediately I could tell that something was wrong. My mom, he explained, fell in the restaurant on Friday evening. Paramedics called, she refused to ride to the hospital despite bleeding from the head. The restaurant is one they have frequented for over 40 years on Friday evenings. This Friday, this "Good Friday," not so good.
Saturday morning comes around and dad realizes she is likely suffering a broken arm. So paramedics are called to the house, mom goes to the hospital. I caught my dad as he was heading out to join her at Howard County General. Call Laura? No. Nothing to tell her until we get home and there is a conclusion to the whole story. And this is what my days are about. Wondering, worrying if they are okay. Is the phone unanswered because they just can't get there quickly enough, or is there something wrong? I can never be sure.
While I am aware that the fall would have happened no matter where I live, I do believe my father would be more communicative with me if I lived closer. So today, rather that waking up with the wonderful anticipation of "where's my basket," I'm saddened to think that my mom is spending the day in pain and I'm not close by.
I do have a lot of good memories of Easter mornings. One year, the bunny brought for me red patent leather shoes and another pair of yellow patent leather shoes. They were hidden behind the couch. Another year, my basket was tucked away in the dryer. I was almost in tears because it was, well, the last place I looked.
I'm not sure where my hope lies these days. Back then, I had hope for a bright future. Things seemed so clear. Now, it's all a bit murky. I am grateful that today I've my 5 Squeedunk Cats. Kitties will always be the greatest gift from my mother. She taught me how to take care of them, and how to love them, and how to interpret what they are saying. She encouraged me to help those needing my help. She sent money every month for years to her favorite cat charity groups and it's my belief that if she weren't hampered by other issues, she would have been driving around at night looking for those banished to the streets. Maybe this is where my hope lives: by working to save feline lives, I'm continuing her desire to make a difference. To end the suffering. To bring the promise for a better day.
So today, I give thanks for all that she did for my sister and me growing up. No one can approach making days as beautiful as she did, and I have to make sure she knows that my memories are vivid and long lasting.
|Me, Easter most likely in 1968. This was not my main Easter basket. Check out the white patent leather shoes. I was three, please don't point out that it was pre-Memorial day.|