When most people think of Easter, they think of cute little bunnies, yummy chocolate eggs, pretty pastel colors and warmth that spring will bring us and of course, there is the religious, historical aspect as well. To me, I think of those, but I also remember a very sad and hard time in my family`s life.
Once, we were a happy family of 5, my parents, my brother, and myself and my twin sister. We were born 3 minutes apart and my Mom always said, I got tired of sharing the space and I kicked her out of the womb first so I could have a few minutes in there myself. She was born with hydrocephalus and had to have a shunt put in very early. Her short life was filled with many doctors appointments and health issues, but it never seemed to dampen her spirits. Being so young, I sadly don’t have a lot of memories of us all together, but the ones I do have are happy and full of love.
Then Easter weekend, just days before our 8th birthday she fell ill and was taken to the hospital. At the time, I remember thinking she was going to be back soon and everything would go back to normal. However, things would be never normal again. I don’t think I will ever forget the looks on my parents faces when they came home from the hospital and told us she was gone. At that age, it’s definitely very difficult for a child to understand the magnitude of what has actually happened.
For the years following and even into my adult life, Easter was always something we didn’t celebrate. In fact, we didn’t talk about Easter as holiday much at all. We just tried to get through it the best we could. Some years it was easier when Easter and my birthday fell close together but in cases like this year, Easter and my birthday are almost 3 weeks apart. So it’s almost like having to deal with it twice.
When my son was born, I knew that I could no longer avoid Easter weekend and enjoyment that comes along with it for children. I explained to my family my thoughts and wishes on the subject and they were more than happy to oblige. We all agreed that he could not be “punished” (that isn’t the right word, but don’t know how else to word it) for our previous heartache and misfortune.
Each year, we do the Easter egg hunt, the Easter bunny makes a visit and my son enjoys Easter like most other children. I know that is what she would have wanted and it’s definitely what I wanted.
Not a day goes by that I don’t miss and think about her and at this time of year, I do even more. This is definitely a hard post to write but I hope others that have lost love ones near a holiday know that they aren’t alone and I understand. We will never forgot the ones we lost but know they would want us to enjoy the holidays regardless.