How is it that Easter has suddenly crept up on us? It seemed so far away and yet, here we are. Holy Week. I must admit that I am totally not ready. Not physically, and certainly not emotionally. This is it: our first holiday without Mom.
We are doing our best to keep up all the traditions, but I have no idea how my mother did it all. True she was a stay-at-home mom most of her life, but even in her later years, she did a tremendous amount of work. In fact, she did pretty much everything. And so we go about trying to split the work between us.
I made the seasonal pickled eggs for my Dad, and my sister-in-law, Sandy, made her second batch of homemade pierogies. (I got off easy on that one.) Friday, we will have to hard boil our own eggs for coloring (yes, Mom even did that for us… including getting all the supplies ready for us), and we’ve got things covered for our fish dinner Friday night.
My Dad decided that he still wants to do the tradition of getting a basket blessed on Saturday, even though he has never gone to do that in my memory. It was always me and Mom. But I will indulge him this, although I will not be making a second ham to include in the basket. We will make do with a few simple items: kielbasi, eggs, bread, butter, horseradish. But we will honor this tradition.
Sunday dinner. Sandy and I have split the tasks on this one, evenly splitting the dinner items, as well as desserts. I’ll be baking (or at least attempting) Mom’s world famous sugar cookies. Of course, we do not remember the recipe for the icing, so we’ll have to see what Google can come up with. I’ll also be baking the peanut butter blossom cookies, and also attempting a lemon pie. I guess I’ll do a practice run before the weekend arrives.
I understand that many of you reading this are thinking “big deal”. I am sure so many of you tackle the whole dinner thing on your own, and then some. But we have been spoiled rotten by many years of Mom doing all the work. She loved every minute of it and she was the focal point of every single holiday. It’s not so much her cooking we’ll miss, but her presence.
I am grateful that my church sent me the book “The Empty Chair: Handling Grief on Holidays and Special Occasions” by Susan J. Zonnebelt-Smeenge, RN, Ed.D., and Robert C. DeVries, D.Min., PhD. I am working my way through it this week, and am appreciative of the reflections. The book speaks to my heart and it is nice to see my feelings put into words better than I could do it myself. It’s going to be a difficult week, but I pray that we can find some peace in the joy that is the Easter season. Mom would have wanted it that way.
So in my pickled egg adventure, I Google’d how to make the perfect hard boiled eggs. Historically, I just boil the hell out of them, not really timing them. I thought this method, from our dear Martha Stewart, was much easier, and very effective: Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs
But you already knew that, didn’t you? :)
So what are your Easter traditions?
IMDb Empty Chair (2015)