It’s been a long time since I’ve had a “Blue Christmas” or holiday as a single mom. I thought I was “passed it” and prepared now after all of these years for some of the emotions that roll in around the holidays. I have a pretty well stocked ’emotional tool box’ that I’ve pulled from since 2001 when my life took a big left turn due to divorce.
But, this past Easter weekend as I saw countless family Easter pictures and posts about “happy nests full of college kids” and “how crazy it was at Whole Foods” preparing for Sunday lunch, a few unexpected bolts of sadness hit me. I’d prepared my heart for the fact that my oldest who is in college in California wouldn’t be able to be home, so I thought I was “good”. I thought my youngest would be with me until we realized late in the week that we’d had a little mixup on the family calendar and he’d be at his dad’s. Even though we worked it out and Benji met me at church on Sunday (where we shared in a great Easter service and had a nice lunch out together), Good Friday and Saturday were a bit funky for me.
As I saw pictures on facebook of young children with baskets on Easter egg hunts, I reminisced about the early years with my boys dying eggs, crazy hunts that turned into fights or tears and family photos trying to keep them from pinching each other or crying, I was sad.
Some of this was compounded by the fact that my 16 Hill cousins created a ‘secret’ facebook group and we’d all been posting pics and sharing memories of our childhoods and while it was fun, it was also bittersweet. Three of the six of my dad’s siblings are gone. My dad’s been in heaven now for almost 10 years. I saw some pictures of my parents that I’d never seen and pictures of my grandparents the way I remembered them. My mom remarried a few years ago and now lives 6 hours away from me instead of 3. This Easter weekend, she happened to be in Florida at her beach house with her new husband and his family. While I’m happy for her, it creates a new frontier to navigate that I find folks rarely talk about. It really affects the landscape when you’re an adult and your parent remarries late in life and moves to a new city.
Anyway, the weekend for me was full of a lot of emotions that I really didn’t expect or know exactly how to handle, other than to just feel them.
Feeling sadness is not something I’ve very good at. For years, I was so deep in “survival mode” that I didn’t visit those places in my heart too often. Now, that I’m back in the ‘land of the living’, I find that I have a lot of tears stored up in this 50 year old body that love to come pouring out whenever they find it necessary. I’m comfortable with that in private but, I try not to embarrass Benji when tears pour down my face in public, like it did on Sunday during an especially moving letter that our pastor read.
All this to say, if you’re Easter was a “blue” one, you are not alone. If yours was “picture perfect” with all of your loved ones and plenty of food on the table, but inside you were sad, you weren’t alone. If you were “lucky enough” to truly have a peaceful day or weekend, I’m happy for you. I find the folks who have the best ones are those who lower their expectations and see the time together regardless of what happens as a gift.
Still, even on the most glorious Easter, we’re still human and still broken… still longing for resurrection in our own lives….longing for everyone we love to be around the table. One day we will behold Him, and we’ll be “as we long to be“. No longer will we see through our foggy, tear-stained glasses. I for one, can’t wait!