I sit in my mother’s place at the vinyl-covered table, and it feels strange.
One day I serve my dad scrambled eggs, and on another he serves me a fried egg.
I ask how he makes it so perfect, and he shows me how he baptizes it with water and covers it with a lid.
We toss the cracked white tombs in the trash.
I remind him to take his medicines, check his heart monitor, and change his pain patch for him. We discuss why he might have fallen and gaze at the remaining puddle of dried blood on the sidewalk. He rather likes it there. Likes to point it out, shake his head and wonder.
My sister and I worry about his headaches, so I run him to the emergency room for a CT scan. We take him to bingo one night (the night his back hurt so badly he didn’t sleep a wink), and we make a grocery run.
But mostly simple days of watching and waiting.
Quiet in a lot of ways.
In spite of the TV that blares 24/7 while I
sleep snooze on the couch and watch him toss and turn on the floor where he’s slept for years.
In spite of the need to yell over the din of a police show because he hasn’t put his hearing aids in.
I miss Holy Week activities, but by Saturday I feel safe enough to leave him and head home.
Though by the time I arrive, I don’t want to talk to anyone. I just want to take a shower and then run to the store to shop for Easter dinner. I barely acknowledge that my husband spent the day vacuuming and washing floors and cleaning bathrooms or that he made the bed with the pillows and the shams perfectly set.
I don’t sleep well on my Tempur-Pedic in our quiet, darkened bedroom.
And by morning, I’m
still more grumpy.
I think about everything I
have want to do before family arrives for after-church dinner.
Not that it’s fancy. Just burgers and dogs and beans and salads–potato and pasta.
So I rise while it’s still dark and stuff eggs and baskets and continue the food preparations that I stopped a few hours ago when my tongue dragged the floor, and I get the grand girls around and ready and fed.
And I leave the grumps at home.
We smile big and feast on delectable sweets and sing our alleluias.
And one boy smashes an egg during the children’s sermon and discovers it empty.
But those grumps, they’re waiting for me when I get back.
I pull rotten vegetables from the drawer, and the cuke upchucks itself all down the front of the fridge, leaves a trail across the floor, and then baptizes the side of the trash can.
I peel uncolored hard-boiled eggs and toss the cracked empty tombs in the trash.
I bang around the kitchen trying to stay on my schedule. And my son arrives earlier than I told him to, and his mother-in-law brings a rose plant and a giant bowl of fruit salad, and I’m glad, but I’m focused on mixing dressing, and I know she’d love to help, and she reaches for a bowl I’ve lifted, but I snatch it away (I didn’t mean to snatch), and my son tells me to relax and tells her to just let me be, and my daughter tells me I’m not being very friendly.
And guilt takes my chef’s knife and pierces my heart.
How quickly I throw the cross away.
And how easily I throw the empty tomb away.
I need Jesus to walk right through the kitchen wall and shalom me over the chopped celery and sliced tomatoes and can of black olives.
Because for goodness sake, I can’t even behave like it’s Easter on Easter.
Which is precisely why I need Good Friday.
Which is precisely why I need Easter.
Which is precisely why I need Him.
And why I’m grateful that He took my place.
My favorite tree in full pink bloom.
The yellow finch perched in the pink blooms of my favorite tree.
A robin splashing in the bird bath on Easter morning.
My husband. Nuff said.
My dad’s rapid recovery.
That the littlest grand girl has completed her rabies series.
A newly bat-proofed house.
An oldest grand girl’s poetry.
A mountain of clothes that need washing.