April 12, 2020. My fifth blog post in the Coronatimes
As I sit here watching my church’s Easter service on a phone, it’s hard not to be affected by how different things are this year. There weren’t Easter baskets waiting for the kids this morning. There aren’t any Easter egg hunts planned with Ella. We had to make a FaceTime call to wish Ian a Happy Easter instead of getting dressed up and taking pictures in the backyard. We had Easter Brunch in the sunroom instead of driving to Frankfort for Easter lunch. We’re spending the day in our house instead of with Grammy and Grandpa. Everything is different.
But change is inevitable. Even the traditions that we followed last year are different from the ones I grew up with. Back then we spent the weekend at Mamaw and Papaw’s house in Morton’s Gap. Our aunt, uncles, and cousins were there as well and the house swelled with food, family and laughter. On Easter morning, after breakfast, we went to the front porch to see what the Easter Bunny had brought, but were only able to enjoy it for a few minutes before we had to get bathed and ready for service at Salem Baptist Missionary Church, where, if we wanted, we could go up and be part of the choir. After an hour of impassioned Easter messages and “sing your lungs out” hymns, the kids were all separated into age groups and each would venture out into one of the graveyards that surrounded the church for an egg hunt. Picture if you will, children of all ages in their Easter finest, running among the gravestones and celebrating in the greatest anticipation and innocence.
After church was a feast of the best that the garden out back could offer. The table was full, the fold out table, or the “kids table” as it was known, was full. Everyone talked louder and louder in order for their voice to be heard. While the adults cleaned up, the kids were sent out to play and spend the last few minutes together before the cousins had to drive back to St. Louis and we headed back to Frankfort. It was always felt like it would be a million years before we would see them again.
Today brings these sweet memories back. But time has moved on. My grandparents are gone. My Uncle Charles is gone. My Aunt Rita and Uncle Bob are gone. The house and garden in Mortons Gap are gone. The children have their own children and have moved in different directions. Each have their own Easter traditions now. Until this year.
Nobody is able to follow their normal Easter schedule this year. A new normal is being created. And ours will include a ZOOM call, a family gathering with the most dear cousins from St. Louis, something that has been missing from our Easter tradition for many years. I have found that in this health crisis, there has been a return to touching base with the people that mean the most to you. To make sure that even though you haven’t seen or talked to them in a while, that they be reminded how much you love them, miss them and hope that God is filling them up during this time. A new tradition I hope that remains when we go back to our old normal. A chance to change things is a chance for new hope.
Happy Easter and God’s Blessings to you all!