Yesterday when I bought a lace dress for Easter, the last lace Easter dress I wore popped into my mind.
Wish I had the photo to post, but I’ll describe the scene: Easter 1967, three little girls posing in a Florida front yard. The younger pair, a brunette and a strawberry blonde in Pixie haircuts, show off their Mom-made smocked dresses. Their auburn-haired, almost 11-year-old sister–me–is wearing a demure mint green lace dress also by the House of Mom. Completing my ensemble were white T-strap shoes with tiny heels (good), a Pollyanna-style hat with streamers (OK) and white gloves (just awful). Despite my new outfit, I am not happy about being dragged to Easter Mass, which at that time was still in Latin.
My kids don’t have kids yet, so this Easter they’re not wresting any little ones into “God shoes,” as my little brother used to call his dress shoes. No Easter eggs hunts or dinners to attend. Just an ordinary day for them, the first year both kids live far away. No Easter baskets for me to make. Instead I sent a card and some money to each of them. My husband ordered some fancy-smancy chocolates for us.
If I measure the changes in our lives, I’d use last Easter as the starting point. Easter celebrations with our families were cut short because my husband wasn’t feeling well. I had to take him to a walk-in clinic that weekend. We didn’t know he had cancer then, didn’t know that it would be his last Easter with his father. My son didn’t spend Easter with us because he was checking out apartments in Minneapolis. He moved two months later, and my daughter moved to Chicago two weeks later. By then, we were in the middle of a string of surgeries for my husband, and weeklong hospital stays for infection after infection. As spring approached, we lost my father-in-law and my husband went into the hospital once more. Not much joy in a usually joyful season.
But today is Easter and that gives me hope. My husband is feeling pretty good this morning and so am I. We are going to church today, and unlike that girl in the mint green dress, I’m glad about it. I’ll don my new bright coral lace dress. However, this time I’ll drop the hat and gloves and accessorize with a smile instead.