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A Happy Easter For All/It’s Still Easter!

April 24, 2022

Another Way for week of April 15, 2022

A Happy Easter For All?

Easter Sunday when I must have been about 3 or 4. Sisters Nancy, Linda and Mom and Dad at North Goshen Mennonite Church, Indiana. Daddy was not the pastor, but the deacon: hence the straight coat. Eventually he progressively coaxed the pastors he worked with into wearing bow-ties and then neckties.

What do you remember about Easter when you were young? For the three girls in our family, there were new dresses—sometimes homemade by mother. When there was more money than time, she bought dresses for us and I remember being very excited by a satiny flowered lavender dress with a large skirt and puffy sleeves. There might have been new shoes and socks in a really good year. Sometimes even hats! My younger brother would sometimes get a new suit (never homemade)—which was usually outgrown by the following year.  

From left to right: Linda, Nancy, yours truly and our long awaited little brother, Terry. Probably just a summer Sunday.

Certainly, we colored Easter eggs—real eggs that were plentiful because we lived on a poultry farm. Mom would save some back for a week or two before Easter to make the eggs easier to peel for making deviled eggs or pickled ones. My oldest sister would help with organizing the cups we put the dye in—older stained or chipped mugs or coffee cups that we kept on a shelf in the basement pantry—and only got them out once a year to dye Easter eggs. It was a messy affair, but by spreading newspapers on the old metal kitchen table, clean up was easier.

We always played “hiding Easter eggs” long before Sunday. Inevitably we’d forget where one or two were hidden and Dad discovered the stinky evidence while mowing many weeks later. Dad and Mom never bought us Easter baskets, a tradition in some families. I think they figured new clothing was enough. We were sometimes given hand-me-down baskets from aunts or friends—so we did have some to play with.

Our most memorable Easter Sunday morning was the Sunday we woke up to our house on fire. It was a roof fire, and Dad was able to mostly get it extinguished before the firemen arrived. But it was a hot mess in an upstairs closet which the chimney bordered. We were late to church, but oh so thankful that the fire wasn’t worse.

This Easter I’m especially remembering my mother and father, now both in a place we call heaven. Whatever it looks like or wherever it is, we know our spirits will be in a place of joy, happiness and love, and somehow in the presence of God and Jesus. Dad died in 2006 on a Sunday morning about three weeks before Easter. He had to walk with a cane the last dozen or so years of his life after being confined to a wheelchair for a period of time. He had been told by Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN that he would never walk again. He worked hard to prove them wrong, advancing to a walker and then just a cane. But, I remember him saying how happy he would be to discard his cane in heaven.

Our Easter blessings (probably after church): Michelle, Tanya, Doreen.

Of course this Easter my siblings and I are certainly thinking much about Mom, who died this past October. I feel she is thrilled to finally be reunited with Dad and so many friends, family, siblings this Easter—and not have to worry about the physical problems that she dealt with in her final years. 

But this season we are distraught by many other presenting problems in Ukraine and bordering countries, in many parts of Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America, the Far East. We are burdened and dismayed by the millions of refugees longing for their own homes, pretty clothes, and Easter eggs to paint or hide. Even in our own country, people beset with personal, drug, financial, and family problems, are left on our streets and in homeless shelters.

However we conceive of a future spent in the presence of God, I believe that Christ’s death on the cross—out of his everlasting and deep love for us—has made it possible (in spite of problems and suffering on earth) for all who love Jesus to have an “Easter morning” resurrection. Not literally on Easter, but after death we will be welcomed into the presence of God. Alleluia!  

***

At our church, it is the Easter Season–seven Sundays when we sing Easter songs and celebrate as well as reflect on the meanings. What is the practice at your church or congregation, or privately?

***

Your Easter memories? Hopes and joys?

Comment here or send privately to anotherwaymedia@yahoo.com or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at FindingHarmonyBlog.com a week after newspaper publication.  

7 Comments
  1. Wonderful post with a lot of great Easter memories! I really enjoyed it.
    I’m glad you commented on the top picture, with an explanation of your dad’s coat. I have a picture of my Grandpa Jones in a similar straight coat with a collar like that. It always seemed odd to me, because in other photos he never wore anything like it. But when I saw that explanation, I remember that Grandpa was a deacon – and very proud to be a deacon – of the church in Glendora CA. An Independent Brethren. And I seem to recall hearing when I was younger that IB was an offshoot of the Mennonite.
    My Grandpa Cline was the pastor of the church from sometime in the 1940s until the mid 1960s, when they moved to Goshen, Ind to pastor a church there.
    What a small world this is sometimes!

    • Have we discussed that your grandpa lived awhile in Goshen?? Yes, small world. I’m not sure I’ve heard of Independent Brethren but there are/were a number of Brethren-related names and yes, an offshoot of Mennonite. I live in Goshen from 1952 to 1969 so …. interesting! Clines were numerous in the area, I think.

      Thanks for commenting!

      • I think we have, back when you’d gone back to visit your Mom there. But I don’t think you knew of my grandparents. They moved to Goshen when I was young. I know by age 5ish I got a watch from them for Christmas and it was on their visit back to CA. My first memory of them. So that would be 1963-1964. I’m guessing they moved there around 1960ish. Mildred and Cecil Cline. My uncle lived in Goshen next door to them until he retired from the PO & moved to Arizona. Arnold Cline. My other uncle – Gerald – lived in Elkhart but just recently moved to Nappanee. Things like this make me feel really “connected”!

      • I do hope we can meet sometime!!

  2. This is a lovely Easter reflection, coming as it does just after Easter. I have taken down our table decorations, but left the glowing circle of electrified eggs up on the coffee table because hubby doesn’t like an abrupt end to a special holiday, a Holy one like the Easter season.

    Our family photo looked much like yours: 3 girls + a little boy at the end. My brother, mother, and father are in heaven now and I look forward to seeing them restored in resurrected bodies–no pain, no heartache==eternal bliss.

    One of my memoir chapters concerns Easter mixed with politics, what usually happened when my dad’s side of the family gathered. There were real eggs too, colored with painted applied with Q-tips.

    Three years ago I wrote a blog post in honor of my mother, who loved making chocolate-covered peanut butter and coconut candy eggs for Easter. She also observed Good Friday, especially the hours between noon and 3:00 when Christ presumably hung on the Cross: https://marianbeaman.com/2019/04/17/easter-2019-memories-mother/

    We have precious memories, but best of all, eternal hope of heaven! 😀

    • When we have dear loved ones that we’ve loved our whole lives, it makes heaven feel more homey–a place to reunite with family–not a legend or a dream.

      You know, I had never counted up our siblings/genders in our families: similar line up! And I’m guessing your father used to wear a straight coat, too. I think the reason he wanted to leave behind the straight coat was that it was easier to buy regular suits (and less expensive) than have a tailor or someone make the straight coats! Mom would never have tried to make one of those!!

  3. Yes, my father did wear a “straight” coat, which I think could be bought at Hagar’s plain clothing department in Lancaster. I walked me down the aisle in a regular suit, however.

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