Posted by: dinainsuburbia | April 4, 2010

new beginnings… bitter & sweet

Easter is a time for new beginnings… Spring is here.   We’ve had a horrible winter with numerous “weather-events”:  3 major snowstorms, biblical-quality rains (Noah, are you out there?), and one major wind storm (they say it was  a Nor’Easter) that caused ridiculous tree damage.  The daffodils are out, cheerily announcing that the worst of winter weather is behind us, and the tulips aren’t far behind, if you look, you can see the green shoots stubbornly making their way up from their long-dormant bulbs.  Our resident woodpecker has flown back into town, announcing his presence every morning around 6.30AM, the cardinals are singing, and a momma blue jay is constructing a nest.  It’s amazing how busy spring is- how ALL living things kick into productivity overdrive.  Even the trees are busy with their buds!

It is refreshing- all this new life.. and fitting for Easter- the resurrection of Christ Jesus.  I love Easter, the most important holiday for Christians- but for me, a Catholic Christian, I like it for the tradition of the ritual.  After 40 days of Lent, Easter IS a warm sunny day… even if, like me, you didn’t QUITE make it through Lent without breaking your vow of whatever you wanted to give up (for me- it was Gossip… a near impossibility for me to cease for four hours, never mind forty days).

Last night I went to Easter Vigil with my grandmother.  The same service that, last year, John was baptized, I was confirmed, and we had a Catholic wedding ceremony.  It was bitter-sweet.  My thoughts and my heart feel heavy as I miss my grandfather very much.  We were all usually together for Easter; last year, grandma and grandpa were John’s godparents, and so were up from Florida.  My Uncle was here, too, and we did all the usual Easter traditions.. we dyed eggs, we made Easter bread (delicious bread filled with every kind of Italian salty meat you can think of.. an AMAZING and DELICIOUS way to give up the fast of Lent), and we were together.  It seemed, at the time, that Grandpa really didn’t have a huge role in all of this tradition… he was around sure, but he napped, he did a few dishes, he told a few bad jokes, or the same stories we’ve all heard countless times.. but certainly, at the time, it didn’t seem he was an integral part to making the bread or preparing the meal.

But looking back, I see how foolish I was to think that .. because he was.  I know that because the emptiness of him not being here to celebrate Easter casts a cloud over the holiday.  Something is just not right.. it is his absence.  What I’ve learned is that you don’t have to be a “main player” to be important.  Your presence is important.  Sometimes just quietly being there is your role- and because you aren’t “doing” doesn’t mean you aren’t as “important”.

So, if you feel like you aren’t important, please consider that just by being here, by being present, you are.  We might not all be the architects of grand events, but sometimes being the spectator is just as important.

This time last year, grandpa was here, and I was newly pregnant.  A miracle.  The promise of new life in my stomach and the promise of Christ’s redeeming love together; now Joel is here, beautiful and perfect.  While I’m sad that grandpa hasn’t met Joel “in person”, (I’m quite confident he knows him.. just not in any Earthly way) I have the peaceful feeling that this is just as life should be.

Happy Easter everyone.

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