Remembering Easter’s past

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When I look back on Easter’s past, I remember matching hand sewn powder blue leisure suits that my mother made for my little brother, my father and me. I’ll never forget those white buck shoes, as she was a Pat Boone fan. During those times, my mother sewed all of our Easter outfits each year, with the girls and the boys were always matching. I thought we were stepping up when we switched from the white shoes to penny loafers, but still, I was mortified.

When I look back on Easter’s past, I remember matching hand sewn powder blue leisure suits that my mother made for my little brother, my father and me. I’ll never forget those white buck shoes, as she was a Pat Boone fan. During those times, my mother sewed all of our Easter outfits each year, with the girls and the boys were always matching. I thought we were stepping up when we switched from the white shoes to penny loafers, but still, I was mortified. I was so happy when my mother began working again and began buying our clothes, even though we always still matched in spring colors and patterns.

As I look back I realize the mortification was self-induced, and these special times with my family are tucked tightly in my treasure chest of cherished memories. It takes growing up and having children of your own, to comprehend the sacrifice and the ability of making due with what you have with such a large family. 

Growing up Methodists, we were at the church at least three times a week, but Easter was always a special time of celebration and family. I realize how fortunate I was to have such a loving large family and although I have not followed in my mother’s Easter traditions, when it comes to Easter outfits, the deeper meaning of Easter stays with me to this day. Those memories are a strong part of the foundation of family that my parents set in stone with all of us at an early age.

We celebrate the Easter holiday in our own ways, whether sacred or secular. Some hold blessed the traditional meaning of the Easter season while others focus on the more pagan elements of Easter celebrations. Either way, in many cases, building family bonds and traditions is a large part of this special time of year.

All I have to do is read or watch the news to quickly realize how fortunate my family is this year, and to also see that there are many families out there that are suffering during this season in one way or another. Just in the past week in our own communities I have seen the loss of loved ones, which is particularly difficult around any holiday. It takes a lot of faith to get through these times. Then there are those that have no family to celebrate with and people and families that have nothing at all. It can be heart wrenching, even as a bystander to see the horrific ordeals that many in our communities are facing.  Easter should be a time of faith, celebration and family.

Regardless of religious background, beliefs and traditions, at this time of year, holidays that are founded in family, faith and hope somehow bring a sense of reflection. This is true not only of the past, but what is happening right now with your family, friends, neighbors and strangers that you see and hear of every day. Even if Easter is not a holiday that you celebrate, take the time say a prayer, send a wish or reach out to those that are in need this holiday. Suffering comes in many ways. It can be family and loved ones lost, money issues that cause stress on parents that cannot afford something as simple as an Easter basket for their children, those separated by loved ones by miles and the many that are just hitting a rocky road in life.

These things happen to most of us at one time or another and any holiday can bring sadness rather than joy. So as you celebrate this Easter weekend, as you should with love, hope and faith, don’t forget about those without and have little love, hope and faith to lean on. Share yours, so they can increase theirs.

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