Allleluia, He is Risen!

Memories are made every second, some good and some not so good.  Each one is not only an image burned into our brain, it is accompanied by a sound, a smell, a feeling.  Sometimes the memories are actually recalled due to those things.  It is amazing how that happens, as sometimes it is out of no where. 

Over the last year I have had the opportunity to recall many memories throughout multiple "counseling" sessions in an attempt just to offer to a stranger who I am and what makes me "me".  The emotional ones?  Family.  That's not a surprise, after all, who doesn't have emotional memories that involve family.  Mine seemed different.  Not ill emotions.  Emotions that were deep and ALWAYS made me teary.  (I tried to explain that I cry about everything, but the counselor always offered that he could see this memory, event, situation, whatever it was, was important to me).  I would cry talking about wanting to spend time with family, wanting to share my family with my extended family, wanting to have a close relationship with family...everything about family.  I couldn't offer an explanation as to why the deep emotion.  My family is all still here for the most part. 

Today as I was reflecting on the significance of this day...Easter...something hit me, and it wasn't even rocket science.  I have a very strong desire for my children to know their family...not just know them in pictures...actually know them so they have memories.  I have beautiful memories and so many of them are tied to family events and celebrations.  They were special and are special memories...the ones linked to music, sights, smells, other sounds.  They are those comforting memories...those ones that make me feel so loved.  I wondered for a moment if over the years I have turned these memories into bigger ones than they really were.  I don't think so.  I think as I have grown up, as I have matured, as I have evolved into an adult, a parent, a wife, my perspective has changed.  A changed perspective offers the same memories that now mean even more, mabye because I feel like I know some of the meaning, effort, and love behind them.  Family is so important.  Traditions are so important.  My memories make todays events maybe they'll be comforting, loving memories for my children. 

Easter floods me with emotion.  Happy memories of celebrating Christ's resurrection.  To this day, Easter morning is glorious.  It is a day that I look forward to, that now fills me with an even deeper emotion, because I understand it even more than I did as a child.  I understand even more the events leading to the crucifixion, His resurrection and His ascension.  But those childhood memories...Easter morning breakfast after sunrise service, egg hunts at grandma's house and at the city park, Easter baskets filled with goodies, matching or coordinating dresses, new tights and hats, celebrating with family, dying eggs.  I remember one Easter that Jeanine Fricke spent Easter with us and brought us baskets.  Mine had a cross necklace in it.  Mathilda's basket had a cross necklace in it this morning. 

We began preparing for this celebration 6 weeks ago.  Maybe Lent means not much more than giving something up to my children now, but eventually it will mean more...they'll understand a little deeper what the significance of a Lenten sacrifice.  We continued to prepare throughout holy week by attending church on Holy Thursday to remember the Last Supper, Good Friday to remember the Passion and the Easter vigil on Saturday night to celebrate that the tomb is empty.  It isn't the same as going on Sunday, and when our kids are a little older, we'll do both, but the vigil is beautiful.  The vigil lasts until about 10:30 pm so it's a little harder on theses little people.  Beginning with Palm Sunday, Jesus is covered in purple cloth...hidden until Saturday night when a new baptismal candle is lit and new light fills the church as we begin to celebrate Easter and His resurrection.  On Saturday evening, He is not present in the tabernacle.  It is empty, just as the tomb is.   We celebrate the mass, which wasn't celebrated on Friday, and proclaim "Alleluia!", which we haven't said for six weeks.  All of these little things which will mean more later than they do now for the little people that squirm in their seats because it is typically their bedtime.  They'll surely have wonderful memories of the annual Easter egg hunt on the church lawn, and maybe even of their Easter baskets on Easter morning. 

We'll spend the rest of the day with Tim's family as we have for several years now.  We'll eat together in Milford and the go back to Seward for Grandma's egg hunt on her lawn.  Holidays are meant to be spent with family, and the more, the better.  (Unfortuneately, I don't have any pictures of our family all dressed up for our celebration at church...always a little crazy just to get out the door.  Pictures will have to be delayed.  :)  )