A young woman I love said to me the other day how much she hates special days like Easter. She, like so many other parents has to spend many of the otherwise joyful holiday days without her children.
I certainly feel her pain. I also have to spend special days without two of my three children and it sends arrows into my heart every time. When my son died almost 15 years ago he took with him not only a large part of our joy but all the tradition and fun of every special day of the year. When parents and grandparents died, tradition also suffered a blow but it doesn’t seem to have the same raw emotional pain suffered when children are missing. It is for the children, that we make tradition. They are the ones who are supposed to benefit and carry them on. They are the ones whose laughter and light make all the work of tradition worth while.
In my own life lately, I have been struggling to bring back some laughter and fun. Special occasions are part of that. I need to find ways to make them special again. Fun and laughter have been absent for too long.
This Easter dinner was a start. It didn’t win any prizes for hilarity but it was a start and it was done in a fairly simple way. I knew that most of family would not be able to attend brunch so I borrowed another family. It wasn’t a fancy deal. We only had fruit and yogurt, pancakes with our home made maple syrup, mimosas, smoked sausage, bacon and lots of coffee and tea but the simplicity of it made fun and conversation easier.
Also adding to the conversation was the use of the 140 year old China. It is a lovely Limoges of about 1880 variety and belonged to my Grandmother’s great aunt, Emily Secord. That was a conversation all to itself. Using the old China is something I’ve decided to do “anyway”. It won’t fetch much on the open market but it does offer enjoyment when it’s on my table. There is no point in saving it…so I’ll use it.
A touch of silliness on the nine dollar table cloth was two dollars worth of coloured sequins. The green and purple splashes of colour added some fun and sparkle to the table and while it may not have made my guests laugh it certainly brought some laughter to me when I sprinkled them around the night before.
There is nothing on this earth I can do to bring back the joy we had when our special days included the whole family but I have a choice to make. I can wallow in pity, lamenting the lost loves and the pain of absence or I can begin to reach into the depth of my love and find new ways to make days special to those who can be with me and to myself.
If I cannot enjoy the days meant for joy I think I dishonour those who have made them joyful in the past. If I cannot love myself enough to allow joy in all my days then I miss the call on my life.