Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter at Grandma's

My sister and I surprised our Grandma today by showing up at her church with our families. We got there before her Sunday school room let out and took up an entire row waiting to see her face when they opened the doors. Although we didn't plan it, her daughter also switched churches for the day. I think Grandma was pleased to have all her children and many grandchildren in the seats near her. In fact, she raised her hand in thanksgiving and even shared it with the congregation.

Easter has always been a holiday I've associated with my grandparents. Perhaps it is the fact that my Grandpa was a Baptist preacher and we grew up in and around church, especially when with them. More than anything, I think it is just the love of God that they both shared with us as children. The reflection of that love, during this holiday above all others, has just led me to always want to be at their home to celebrate.

I was thinking of my last post this morning in the shower and realized that they did the same "story time" with Wendy and me when we were little. Every night, after showers and brushing our teeth and hair, we'd tiptoe barefoot into the living room and sit alongside Grandma in matching nightgowns. Some nights she'd read the bible, some nights she'd ask us to, and then we would all pray together before going to bed.

That early prayer which begins, "Now I lay me..." has remained with me all these years. I even have that saying on a wooden piece of art hanging over my bed. So much of the foundation of my faith stems from both of them, the life lessons they taught us, the stories they shared, the sermons I grew up proudly listening to from my grandpa, all shaped who I am today as a Christian.

So, it was an honor to be at Grandma's table yet again this year. While the faces around the table have changed through the years - and we feel the loss from Grandpa and Austin not being there - the laughter, good food, and sense of family remains. I couldn't think of a better place to be on Easter Sunday.

And as I stood beside Grandma washing dishes, I was thankful for yet another holiday with her. I was also reminded of early memories of Easter at Grandma's......of ham, with the special seasoning only Grandma could do....of mini treats from "Harvey" the invisible Easter bunny (who actually lived in their attic all year long...of playing croquet in the bright green grass and hunting eggs...of family gathered at the table.


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