Easter Memories and Easter Lilies

Memories about Easter invoke a picture of Easter lilies, pastel clothing, and white fancy shoes. For me, I also think about the early morning sunrise church services I attended with my family growing up. More recently, I reminisce about mid-Sunday Easter egg hunts and gatherings with friends. A play I acted in with my local church where I masqueraded as Mary Magdalene.

From the time I was born until I left home, my family always attended Easter sunrise and regular Sunday church service. Anticipation would build weeks before the event when four of us girls would pick out a flowery or pastel colored dress. My mother would also pick out shiny, white patent leather shoes for each girl. We could not wait for Easter to arrive.

Before the Easter sun would show a glimpse of light, we would be dressed, brushed, and ready to go. Quite often, the Easter sunrise service would be outside on a big patio. The pastor would begin with a prayer and a Scripture reading. There is something special about hearing about the resurrection of Jesus while you smell the fresh cut grass and the scent of cinnamon rolls wafting through the air, watch the sun as it barely peeks it way over the horizon, then burst out into its full glory. I would get a nice, warm feeling inside and actually remember listening very intently to the Easter message.

Now that I am grown, I tend to sleep in and miss the early morning sunrise church service. My two girls and I still go shopping for the fancy dresses and shoes. A week or two before Easter, we bring the Easter baskets out of hiding. The Easter bunny buys the girls a chocolate bunny and some peanut butter eggs. He also always brings an Easter book and small toy. I pull out the candy molds and pastel colored Wilton candy melts. We start making the molds and one extra special sugary Easter treat. I pick a new treat to bake each year. On the Saturday after Good Friday, I boil a dozen eggs then we go outside and transform our white eggs into colorful masterpieces of art.

Easter morning dawns and the girls run down the stairs to find, to their delight, that the Easter bunny has filled up their baskets. I explain to them that mommy put in some extra treats as well. Then the great hunt begins. The backyard and patio are speckled with brightly colored eggs. My husband pulls out the camcorder and I hand the girls their baskets. The race to fill their baskets ensues. Before the coffee begins to brew, the girls are opening their plastic eggs to find candies and coins.

We dress in our finest and head off to Church. Quite often, our church has a special presentation of which at times, I am a part of. We smell the fresh lilies placed strategically at the front of the church. Listen and absorb the Easter message. Then head off to join friends for brunch. We often eat at the Country Club for brunch and spend the afternoons at our house or close friends for an elegant dinner.

To me, Easter is about the risen King, about family, and about memories. I treasure the special times I had with my parents, my father who is now deceased. Our precious girls who are growing faster than they can fill their Easter baskets. I treasure the friends that share in our special Easter memories. Once a year, stop to smell the lilies instead of roses. Remember, share, and love.

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