Friday, April 5, 2013

EMPTY on Easter

When the word “empty” is associated with Easter, we naturally think of the tomb. But the vacancy I struggled with this holiday just past was in my home. This spring marked the first year that all three of my sons were living out on their own, and it was pretty quiet around the place last Sunday as a result.

To be honest, there was a bit of relief to be free from the stress of years past. With little family around in town to cook for, we made plans to meet the son who lived closest at a nearby restaurant. Thus there was no humongous dinner to prepare, no fighting the crowds and long lines in the grocery store, no rising extra early to get the meal partially prepared before the church service. The leisure on early Sunday morning was something I had never experienced on previous Easters, and part of me had to admit it was nice.

But, oh, the fun of years past! Everything seemed to trigger a memory. A photo of multi-colored plastic eggshells waiting to be stuffed with treats and then hidden about the house or yard made me remember the years when that was an early morning task. The sight of a toddler at church tugging on the tie at his neckline made me smile at the thought of how I learned to take a photo first thing before my own three sons dismantled the Easter outfits I had so carefully dressed them in just minutes before.

The Easter baskets were the one tradition that seemed to follow my boys as they grew through adolescence into adulthood. As long as they lived at home, they always woke to one on Easter morning. But what to do about them now? Should I mail one to each of my kids, or would they think that was that just another apron string I needed to cut? Would their roommates laugh at them as a result? Initially I thought so, and resolutely ignored the hollow chocolate bunnies, jelly beans and marshmallow animals that peeped at me from every grocery shelf I seemed to walk by. But the farther we progressed through Holy Week , the more I agonized over the question until I finally put it to my husband as to whether he thought I should send Easter candy greetings in the mail. His quick response in the affirmative made me realize it wasn’t the boys’ basket status he was worried about, so much as his own. If theirs were history, his likely was, too!

And so I did find myself pushing my way through the Easter aisles of the grocery store after all, joyfully joining the crowds grabbing candy of all makes and kinds before the traditional favorites were all gone, then packing and mailing them away so that they’d arrive at least close to the desired day. I smiled when my husband came poking around the kitchen early Easter morning to see if the Easter bunny had come through as in years past. And after sneaking a basket hidden in grocery bags to the one son we joined for lunch that day, I sighed in relief when his roommate expressed disgust over the absence of any edible celebrations of the day from his own folks! Enthusiastic text messages from the boys who received post office packages later confirmed that the right choice was made; traditions were honored and this mother’s heart was satisfied.

The empty tomb is a reminder of the days of sorrow that were replaced with overwhelming joy farther on down the road.. An empty house on Easter simply reminds me to expect the same.

“See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come…”
(Song of Songs 2:11-12 NIV)


  1. What a great story! I can just picture Jim coming into the kitchen Easter morning, poking around for his basket! I guess you're never too old for an Easter basket 8-) Love you!

  2. I'm glad you decided to maintain the Easter basket tradition with your boys and that they were thankful for it also!!

    Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

  3. As our children grow and fly the coop, things do change, but that doesn't mean things can't still be fun and awesome in some new ways. Read your reason for creating this blog in the sidebar. That poor writing coach would have never suffered me. I write everything in one sitting, one draft. - Barbara
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead

  4. He Elaine! Is this a new URL? I thought I was following you from last year, but didn't see my little I joined again. Are you enjoying the a-z this year? I've looked at 600 blogs already, and my eyes are beginning to cross over! Pop in, if you'd like:
    from The Dugout


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