Sweet miniature daffodils and two varieties of large showy ones circle the lamp post in Katherine’s front lawn. These were planted back in the day when she could still walk and work in the garden, a favorite activity. Her lovely flower garden in the corner of her back yard that she worked so hard on was destroyed when a huge tree from the park landed on it in a storm. I have tried to take some blooms inside for her to enjoy since she rarely is able to get outside in the sunshine these days. It seems a shame she did all this work and does not get to enjoy it. Three of the showy ones centered her table yesterday for Easter dinner.
I considered titling this blog “A Different Kind of Easter,” but realized that was inaccurate. The Easter described by Matthew. Mark, Luke, and John, is the same as always. How we celebrate it may be different as it was for us this year, but what we are celebrating remains the same: He is risen!
Woodsong was quiet this Easter weekend. There were no adults catching up on each other’s lives, laughing and talking late at night. There was no singing or piano playing. There were no grandkids coming and going. No one made nests in the yard as my mother taught me to do as a child, a custom which our children and grandchildren continued. There were no egg-dying parties at Katherine’s house or ours as in the past. I did boil eggs on Saturday and dye them quickly by putting several together at once in three bowls in three colors. But the eggs wee done dutifully for the table the next day and not as the messy creative experience the children always enjoyed. No one made the traditional bunny cake that Mary Ellen started as a small child and the next generation continued. In fact, I experimented with my first purchase of a sugar-free cake mix and icing. I did not buy a single bag of candy. There was no need.
We had a deluge of rain on Thursday night. Mary Ellen called the next morning to say that since they were unable to get in the fields, they could take the opportunity to go visit Brian’s northern Illinois family and be able to also see Jeannie. Jeannie’s family has always been able to come down for Easter weekend; and since that was impossible this year, I was grieving her absence.
Mary Ellen and Brian were grieving Brianna’s absence this holiday for the first time in her life. Meanwhile down in Nashville, Leslie and Mike were having his parents in for Easter from Ohio. The Texas families could not come this far right now so they were celebrating there, except for Gerry who was with the A&M softball team in Atlanta playing Georgia Tech. Geri Ann was with the Oregon softball team playing at Los Angeles against UCLA. (Both of “our” teams lost their first game in the series and then won the next two.)
So Gerald took me and the dinner I had prepared into Katherine’s house as she had no aide on the holiday. Then he went out and picked up Trent, who didn’t go with Mary Ellen and Brian, and they went to church together. Sam and I started Katherine on her morning routine—adjustments, tooth brushing, adjustments, glasses cleaned, adjustments, egg, toast, juice, and meds. David’s family from northern Indiana was down at David’s folks, so after David came by to check on Katherine, he went on to his family celebration.
I cleared off Katherine’s large kitchen table of the meds, fruit, and mail accumulated there. I used paper plates and spring-colored plastic cups. (I first wrote “glasses,” but I guess plastic can’t be called glasses.) With her pretty bright daffodils, the deep colored eggs in one of her lovely crystal bowls, the colorful ribbon salad I always make for this holiday meal, the table was pretty enough that Katherine exclaimed when she saw it after her daddy took her with the Hoyer lift from bed to her wheelchair. Her exclamation made my efforts worthwhile. (When she went off to college, one of the things I missed was her appreciation for efforts that I made to add color to the table with food or flowers, napkins or pretty dishes.)
The greatly reduced menu this year in addition to the Easter eggs, salad, and cake included the baked ham, scalloped potatoes which I only make at Easter now-a-days, peas, rolls, and grapes for the healthy eaters. Instead of fifteen or more of us, five of us were able to pass food at the table instead of people having to serve themselves from the buffet as we do at our house. Instead of Sam and Trent being off at the “kids’ table,” it was fun sharing our table with two young adults. (Sam will be 18 on his birthday this month, but life has required him to have adult maturity long before his birthday.)
After dinner on the way to his Cedar family evening dinner celebration, Sam took Trent home, where he continued texting friends, playing games, or doing whatever he constantly does with great skill on his phone and computer connecting with people all over the world. Gerald found Geri Ann’s game for us to watch on Katherine’s big-screen television for our afternoon entertainment. Noon pills came at 3 or so. I stayed on through Katherine’s small supper meal, more television, and finally the evening routine including night pills.
After a long day starting with cooking at home, I was getting tired as I do every evening and was very grateful for two of her church friends who come in emergencies to put Katherine back into bed. People at her church have been extraordinary in helping her for many years now. And Jeannie is telling me the same thing is happening to her with extreme kindnesses from so many people.
When Gerald came in to pick me up, I found him in the kitchen with a tool tightening screws on Katherine’s table that he observed was getting as shaky as our kitchen chairs, which he had felt compelled to tighten that morning. (I had not noticed, but was glad he had.) We were both in bed by 10 o’clock, probably another first for me on Easter night. It was a different way of observing Easter for us, but the reason for rejoicing was the same.
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