To Mom, On Easter

If you were still here, you would have called me today. You would’ve made sure I remembered to hang Caroline’s dress up so it wouldn’t wrinkle and told her she had to wear a sweater so her back wouldn’t show at church. It’s ok. You taught me well, so I remembered. 

You’d complain that Jake is going to be wearing a polo shirt instead of a button-up, but you’d still tell him how cute he looked. He doesn’t like to dress up much now. By the time you died, he’d already been to at least three funerals, and he called his little blue blazer his funeral jacket, so I let him steer clear of them now. It would be blatant hypocrisy to do otherwise since I’ve still never been able to wear that blue t-shirt again, the one I had on that day at the hospital the day you died.

You’d make sure I wasn’t wearing a black dress because “That makes it look like you were rooting for the other side. The resurrection is a time for celebration, not mourning.” I’m planning on wearing green this year, just so you know.

You’d ask me if I remembered to get chocolate bunnies for the kid’s Easter baskets. The one year I forgot, you made me feel so guilty I left the house at 9 o’clock at night and went to Harris Teeter. The only ones they had left were caramel flavored, but they were better than nothing, so I bought them and drove back home, put one in each kid’s basket, and went to bed. I don’t think either one of them ate those stupid bunnies. No one ever does, really, but it’s tradition. 

When I get up in the morning and rush around trying to make sure we all get dressed and out the door to church on time, I’ll think of what you told me. “I know sometimes people complain about why it is that the church is always full on Easter and Christmas but half empty the rest of the year, but I say just be thankful when people come at all. My Daddy was one of those people who only made us go twice a year once, but then, on an Easter Sunday, the preacher gave the altar call and he got saved. All that came after that— one son and daughter called to preach, one son a deacon, two other daughters a preacher’s wife and a music minister— happened because he went to church that day.” I’ll wonder about how my life might have looked if none of that had ever happened. 

I try to remember the faith you taught me to have, but sometimes I fail, on the bad days when I don’t know how to rightly love a God who can both give and take away, but on the days when I’m thinking clearly, I know it was a gift, that you were a gift, from God to me and all the other people whose lives you changed.

After church we’ll eat lunch with the family, ask the little kids what they got from the Easter bunny, and then when we get home and the house is quiet, I’ll try to remember if we got any pictures of everyone all dressed up. You were a stickler for that. “It’ll be too late when they’re dead,” you used to tell me. “You have to take pictures so you can remember later.” 

In a lot of ways, Easter is easier for me to understand now, pictures or not. Watching Daddy get better since his liver transplant is like witnessing a resurrection. He was so close to dying and then, suddenly, through the death of another, his own life was saved, and if you could see him now, you’d know that the only trace of sickness he has left is the big scar that starts just under his rib cage and travels to the middle of his belly. 

Tomorrow everybody will smile and say that because of what Jesus did for us that one day we’ll see you again, and that you’re in heaven, healed and whole with your Savior, and I’ll smile back, not because of what they’re saying, but because I’ll be remembering how you always made fun of those songs we sang on Sunday mornings about heaven, the ones you said sounded like funeral music. “I wish they’d all try to live as hard as they try to die,” you’d say, and we’d giggle until Daddy cut his eyes at us for making a scene in church. 

I guess what I’m saying is, I miss you Mom. Maybe a little more on Easter.

3 thoughts on “To Mom, On Easter

  1. Amanda, I love the way you describe your mom, you have her down to a tea. I know you miss her so much because I miss her so much. I live in Bessemer City, so every time I ride by Edgewood rd and look down at her grave. A flood of memories come flashing back of her and many of our funny and serious conversations. She definitely was one of a kind. I told my daughter just the other day. This world. Is quickly coming to a end. Signs of the times are everywhere. We will see your sweet mamma soon and very soon. I love you sweet lady. Keep on writing ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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