Easter Egg

As I have written in the past, I have PTSD. I developed this first when my grandmother died and I was 8 years old. I had the unfortunate experience of finding her body as it took its last breath, and it wrecked my little brain something fierce. One of the PTSD symptoms that I experience is that when a traumatic event happens, I completely block out the time surrounding the event. For instance, I do not remember the entirety of third grade. One of my first memories of that time would be spring of third grade, one year after my grandmother passed, and I was walking around the block with my school therapist who was telling me what great work I had done. Do I remember seeing a school therapist before then? Nope, but I did for a year. Anyway, let’s fast forward to now.

I don’t remember Easter last year. The thing is, two Friday’s after Easter, my mother fell into a coma. I was the one that found her, and it was eerily similar to finding my dying grandmother. In many ways, it was different however- because this time I knew what to do. I did not panic, I woke dad and we did our best to rouse her, and we called the paramedics. And that’s the one thing I remember from the three weeks surrounding the incident. When I celebrated St Patrick’s Day not long ago, that felt to me like the last holiday I celebrated with my mother. But in actuality, it was Easter.

I looked through some photos in an effort to pinpoint certain memories regarding Easter and my mother. I found the photo that I included here, of her on Easter in 2020. I remember her being very sad that she could not hold the family brunch she had been doing for decades, but we had a nice little brunch just the five of us, and it was lovely. We maintained this throughout the Covid years, and last year she swore she was bringing back Easter with a vengeance for 2023. Of course, that didn’t get to happen, and it’s not like I was trying to host this year. However, I am considering doing something next year, in celebration of her.

My mother loved Easter, to an irrational degree, in my mind. As a child, it was a three-day affair. It began on Good Friday, where we would go to her high school best friend  Patty’s house. Our families would attend Stations of the Cross together, and return to Patty’s for tuna fish sandwiches and tomato soup. From noon until 3:00pm, we would quietly relax around the house, mostly listening to the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack, and- as my child-self would say- wait for Jesus to die. Then we would dye Easter eggs. On Holy Saturday, me and Mom and Dad would trek to the Broadway Market to buy Butter Lambs and Redlinski sausage. Then she would go home and begin the cooking and housework- my mother prided herself on her homemaking and hostess skills. And I will not lie to you, she was a pro! She always said that in another life she would have been in designer, and she would have been great at that. Then on Sunday, once Jesus was risen, we would go to church, which was usually standing room only. Then back to the house, where the family would meet for a brunch of epic proportion. It was an important three days for her.

So no, I don’t remember last Easter. I don’t remember the last holiday I spent with my mother, at least in her full capacity. But I do remember every Easter beforehand, from the little Covid brunches to our big family parties that spilled out into the backyard. I can say however, that while I am not sad as I expected to be, I am missing her a lot right now. I never really cared for Easter, what with the ex-Catholic of me and all, but it was so special to her, that made it special to all of us.

This Sunday we ate our sausage and we had our butter lamb, and Dad invited his best bud over for some drinks and food. It was fine. Nobody cried. Alas, it did not have the feel of Easter’s past. Both Bernie and Mark commented that it just wasn’t the same, that it just did not feel like Easter. Oh well. I guess we can try again next year.

Momma, Easter 2020

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