This year I am breaking tradition; because last year my whole world broke.
If anyone knows my family or has spent time with my mom’s side of the family during this time of the year; Easter, you would know that we take major pride in this bunny hopping holiday. We proudly deem ourselves as Easter professionals. [ in our very own way of course ] Easter has always been a big part of my life and I am letting my guard down this year. [ her rocking chair is empty ] EVERY single year of my life or from what I can remember; we had our little quirky Easter tradition. We make Easter baskets… Yes, MAKE Easter baskets, with Rice Krispies. [ until about two 5 years ago, I switched to puffed rice, my Grandma changed my life in the Easter basket ( eating ) category ] We all get together, [ and when I say get together I mean any where from 10 to 30 of us ] and we spend upwards of 12 hours doing Easter-y things; making our baskets, decorating eggs and food, lots of food. Every year we are challenged by our parents, aunts and uncles to make an Easter basket, with these baskets we have some rules: you can’t make a basket you have made before [ I have made everything from an egg to a baby carriage ]; they are made ALL out of Rice Krispies, when you make your basket; use the decorating candy wisely as the more candy you add, the less the Easter bunny will give you. And trust me, the Easter bunny is busy at our house, we use an 8×10 foot table and there is NO space left for dust. Everyone has their basket and if you needed extra help with your basket there were plenty of hands to help. We plan this for months in advance, and every year it is the same, flawless. [ except this year has a major hiccup; we are missing one of the most important attributes ]
People literally question the hell out of us when we try to explain all of this to them for the first time, but to us it makes sense, we have known nothing else. This is our thing, all of us have been doing it for YEARS; and all of this came from one woman… [ shocker ]; my beloved Gran. [ I. MISS. HER. SO. MUCH. EVERY. FUCKING. DAY. ] Last time I saw her was Easter 2017; and I almost didn’t go. I almost skipped Easter last year because I was selfish but I went, and I went with such pride, not knowing it was the last time I would ever see her [ April 17, 2017 ]. Easter will never be the same without her, even though for the past 5 or so years her health limited her, she was there and we all knew it. She was our reason.
This year I have spent the last week contemplating where I need to be and what I need to do. Usually, it’s a no brainer; its Easter and when it is Easter I knew where I had to be; this year I feel frozen in time. I want to walk into that house and go straight to her rocking chair where she would be sitting and have her be surprised I was there, even when I told everyone we were on our way. Every time without fail, “oh, its Sadie and the boys”, and then we would have to sit there peacefully and have to give her 5 minutes to catch her breath. You would hug her and feel her frail little body struggling to stay afloat; but she was always so excited to see everyone. And once one group of family showed up the excitement in her eyes never ended. She would just sit in her rocking chair in the corner of the room with so much pride, we caterered to her; she needed it. If I walked into that house today, it would feel so empty. How such a small woman made the world so full is beyond me. I am not sure how ready I am to see the rocking chair empty, no oxyen machine buzzing and no hose on the floor. Her room still holds her, her ashes remain astill. I haven’t faced an ounce of what I feel without her.
This year, she is there I know she is… and I know I need to be there and I know she would want me to be there but I really don’t have the courage or confidence to even take the box of Rice Krispies out of my pantry. But there they sit.
Easter has different meanings to everyone, and last year gave Easter a whole new meaning to me. I have avoided almost everything up until the first sentence of this blog.
I know where I need to be.
[ and I am not giving up tradition yet, I’ll be there ]
I love you my Gran. I’ll see you again.
[ UPDATE: ‘This year I thought I was breaking tradition…” ]