Saturday, May 6, 2017

What's Significant about 2017's Easter

So, last month, Easter happened.

It zoomed up to me, said hello, then dashed away again, almost before I knew what was happening.

It's not as if we normally make a big to-do out of Easter.  Growing up, our celebration of it was more along the lines of "holy day" and not "holiday" (which is arguably how it should always be), and so we didn't do Easter baskets or the Easter bunny, I don't remember any special attempt to always have a new fancy Easter dress, and there were no particular Easter foods that we always had to have.  Instead, we celebrated it for the significance of Jesus's resurrection (and some years, that included an Easter play with our church, and sometimes a sunrise service).  

My upbringing continues to influence me heavily now, and so our family observance of Easter is similar to that of my childhood and does not usually require extensive preparations.  But this year seemed even more low-key than normal.

Oh, Moriah had a pretty dress to wear--a new-to-us one that Grandma Fisher had found at a yard sale for her--and it was fun to snap a few pictures of her in it that afternoon.

We had a church service that morning (and I was in charge of music for it).  We ate food for lunch (although what it was, I can't tell you).  I probably took a nap that afternoon (a customary Sunday afternoon delight for me).  But it wasn't until that evening that Easter became especially significant for me this year.

Why then?  Because of a visit to this dear lady.
I knew I wanted to see my mother on Easter, but her condition has worsened so much that she isn't really able to get out and about anymore, so her Sundays of going to church with my dad, then having lunch at our house, are sadly ("tragically!" my heart cries) over.  But we can still go to see her, and so we did.
Since her walking has deteriorated along with the rest of her abilities, we helped her into a wheelchair and were able to use that to take her outside her building.  It was a gorgeous evening, and the children played while us older adults watched.

It was pleasant to be outdoors and fun to watch the kids--an easy way to spend time together.  But more than that, being with my mom finally helped my heart to grab hold again of the significance of Easter.  Here's why.

My mom is dying.

All of us are, of course--only, we don't think about it so much.  But with my dear mother, it is obvious.  Her mind is shutting down, and her body is following suit.

I don't mean to imply that she only has a few weeks or months to live--not at all.  People with Alzheimer's sometimes linger...and linger...and linger, and that very well may be the case with her.  But it's impossible for me to spend much time with her without being aware of the decay that is happening in her.

That decay is happening in all of creation and has been for thousands of years.  (I think the Second Law of Thermodynamics has something to say about that?)  But one event pierced the "natural" (since the Fall in the Garden of Eden) order of things and reversed that.

The resurrection of Jesus.

Because of that, not only did His body come back from the dead, we also have hope of that.  And this year, my hope took a very specific form: my mother, whom I love more than words can say and whom I miss intensely as she slips away bit by bit, will not be that way--the way she is now--forever.  In heaven, she will be restored, and not just to her former glory, but to a celestial glory that will far surpass anything we have ever seen before.

Because of Easter, the fact that my mother cannot say my name, doesn't seem to recognize me consistently, can barely walk or talk, needs help feeding herself, and is just a shell--a fragment--of the woman I knew her to be...those facts will be wiped away.

Because of Easter, all the losses that my mother has endured--so many losses that I wonder what is left? how much more can she lose before she's simply gone?--will be returned to her, above and beyond what we can even imagine.

Because of Easter, there is a resurrection coming--not just a general resurrection in the end of time, but a very specific one for her.

And so we wait for it, with more anticipation than any child expecting a basket stuffed with chocolate on Easter morning.
Easter happened this year, and I almost missed it.  But thanks to a visit with my beloved mother, I caught hold of it before it completely slipped away.

Glory be to God for the indescribable power of the resurrection--and for the hope that it drops like dew on the thirsty ground of my aching heart!


Miriam said...

Thank you for sharing this reminder. The pictures of you and your mother are beautiful.

Lara said...

Oh my goodness! Such beauty in your words, in these pictures, in your love, and yes, in His love.