Sunday, April 12th 2020:
Happy Easter!! Today is Easter and this Easter holiday will forever be remembered as the “quarantined Easter Sunday”. I did spend some time with family on facetime just chatting and catching up. It was nice to see that everyone is doing good, staying inside, etc. For me I didn’t do much. I cleaned my bathroom again, after cooking cleaned up my kitchen, and I was going to do some laundry but decided to save it for the week. I started watching that Lego Masters show, very good stuff. Other than that I worked a lot on my book. In fact I worked so much on it that I got tired mentally and ended up going to bed pretty early.
For todays post I want to reflect on Easter Sunday’s of the past. For me, I grew up in a catholic church. So the season of lent was a big thing in my family. I spent a lot of time as a kid at church so it was not a problem following the rules of Lent all the way to Easter. Starting with ash Wednesday, and then giving up something that I liked for lent. Usually it was some kind of food. Like sweets or chocolates, and I think even one year I gave up cursing. LOL. That was funny. Then on Fridays you shouldn’t really eat meat, just fish or non meats and my mother would make foods or something that followed that rule. When I was little, I was taught that back in early church days, eating meat was a luxury, and by giving it up on Friday’s showed an act of self-discipline. Good practice. And we would continue this until Easter Sunday. And let me say, Easter Sunday was a big thing at our church. We would dress up a little “extra” for church on Easter Sunday. And my mother would (without me even knowing), an Easter basket with lots of sweets and candies and maybe like 1 toy for me and my sister. I would wake up Easter Sunday to find this basket in the kitchen on the table with a card signed by my parents. The basket also had some hard boiled Easter eggs that we had dyed earlier in the week and that was cool. We wouldn’t do the Easter egg hunt at our house but later we would. I will get to that.
So my family would get all dressed up, even my father went which was rare because my father worked 7 days a week and it was a nice surprise to see him getting his tie on to go to church with us. Then we would kind rush and look into our baskets until it was time to get ready to go to church. Off to church we would go, and since I was an alter boy, we would get there a little bit earlier than normal. I would get ready for mass in the priests room and usually I would do the 10:30am mass by myself, but since it was Easter the priest would always have extra help for me, maybe some younger boys that wanted to learn so I would have to teach them the process. The priest would say a prayer for us before mass and then we would get started. Mass was much of the same for Easter Sunday, but there was like 10x more people than normal inside the church. That was always nice but sitting up front, kinda makes me nervous but I would get through it all. When mass was over, the church would have a breakfast sale or something in the church hall after and we always would attend because my parents loved to eat menudo and it was home made there. I didn’t like it so I would just hang out with my friends or with my sister until my parents were ready to go. Then we would head to my grandmothers house in Redlands. Here is where our family would get together, hang out and have the easter egg hunt. My grandmother would make food for everyone and we would pretty much stay there all afternoon. When we would finally leave we would head home and I would then get to finally dig through my easter basket and play with whatever toy my mother got me. Soon it would be night and it was time for bed and to get ready for school the next day.
That is how I spent my Easter Sundays as a kid. Good memories, that are still fresh in my mind. Especially the ones I have of my mother. I was taught a while ago by a therapist that if you want to remember someone, don’t focus on their faces or something they said, you need to focus on context. To focus on context makes it easier. For example, if you think of a song, and then you can remember that you heard this song with someone whom you are trying to remember. Then you mind can recall those memories a lot easier. This works for me. So when I think of Easter and how I spent it as a young boy, memories of my mother easily float to the surface and i can enjoy them. I did this last night before I went to sleep. I am happy that I spent so many of my younger years with my family, with my mother and father and let them raise me the best way they knew how. And my sister, for providing me that role model personality for me to look up too. For my cousins for giving me attention and love even if I was way younger than them, and for my aunts and uncles who always made sure I was included in everything. My grandparents, I can’t say enough how they would open their doors, hearts, and minds to me as a kid on Easter. And for friends and their families for doing the same. Easter to me was always like a 2nd to Christmas as far as religious impact on my life. It shouldn’t be spent locked down like I am this Easter. But hopefully next year, things will be different.
Happy Easter to everyone, and most of all, thank you to all who shared it with me and my family in the past years. Love you all.