Easter Sunday... I've sat down to blog about it, but just been unable. Here's my best effort:
My morning began with thoughts of my grandmother. Easter was usually shared with her from an early age in my life. It was more than just that Sunday. It was a trip to Hancock's weeks in advance to pick a pattern and fabric for a dress. It was a trip to the mall for shoes and a matching purse. It was fittings and pins and final results. It was plastic eggs with change inside, secured with sticky transparent tape. It was ham and cornbread dressing and black eyed peas. It was a picture in front of the large oak in her yard. It was azalea blooms, bumble bees buzzing in the delight of the pollen, thick blades of green grass between my toes. Everything about Easter was my grandmother. The newness in the air, the food, the gathering of family, the creating of something pretty and pastel to wear... it was her and all she did well.
This was the first year in my life that it wasn't a possibility to see her on Easter Sunday. Though I can't tell you the last year I spent the holiday with her (it had to have been about eight years ago), it hurt my heart. I missed her so. I miss her now.
We drove down for church with my parents. My brother, his wife, and daughter drove over from Mississippi. My other brother and his wife were there as well. We were all together there in church, my parents, my brothers, and me. I sat beside my mother, and despite the sadness in my heart for many reasons, I could not contain my smile. A year ago, I had sat in church with her with the belief that it could be my last Easter with her in my life. But I was wrong. We came so close to losing her just six weeks ago, but we didn't. I have felt her slipping between my fingers so many times, but she is still here. I am amazed. I am so thankful.
After church, we went to my parents' house. There was food and family and plastic eggs. There were pictures outside in the sunshine. There were moments I will always remember. There was faith in the air. Faith in not what is seen, but unseen, something so far beyond the loss and pain of this world, something at work within, just below the flesh and bones. Something real.
After we got home, I found myself in this weird emotional place, trying to balance my feelings about this world and the one that lies ahead because of the first Easter. I called my living grandmother... I just needed to hear her voice. I feel myself holding on to the people who have created me, knowing that one day soon, I will stand on my own with what I've been taught and shown. Knowing that sooner than I will be willing, I will have to release two more women into the Kingdom. I am eager to do so for their sake, reluctant for myself.
Today, my mother begins a new chemo treatment to fight the cancer in her liver. She enters this new phase already tired... brain surgery just six weeks ago, a daily oral estrogen blocker flowing in her blood, and five treatments of radiation have already left their toll on her body. I pray the side effects are minimal for her but drastic on the cancer. Join me in this prayer if you will, please.