Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Happy Easter, Bunny!

Permit me to share a little of my story. My wife was born, "Arlene," but when her Daddy first held her she had pink ears and a little pink nose. He declared, "She is as cute as a bunny," and she was "Bunny" ever since.

I called her Arlene on our wedding day and sometimes when I was less than happy, but any other time she was Bunny. Every Easter morning I would awake and begin the first of our Easter traditions, as I greeted her with "Happy Easter, Bunny!" Then the other traditions would begin:

New Easter outfits for the kids

Family sitting together at church, hearing the Easter story

Dinner featuring ham and a home-made, red-velvet, butter-creamed, frosted lamb cake (with memories of one Lamb that "bled" raw, red-velvet dough when cut into -- not a pretty sight)

Easter baskets: one hidden in the bathtub, one in the oven, others behind furniture

Egg hunt, featuring plastic eggs filled with jelly beans and an occasional coin

Easter lilies on the table

No matter what the family situation, no matter what the finances, no matter what was the chaos that surrounded us -- the familiar Easter traditions provided a day for stability, comfort and joy. This day and its traditions surrounded our family with a peace. No matter what the future would bring, we would awake, shout out, "Happy Easter, Bunny!" and hear once again the Good News of the open tomb.

Today, the family is separated by time and distance, with the kids separated by time zones, as well as an ocean. Our kids are now on their own, with children and traditions of their own.

Bunny has been called home to her Heavenly Father, no longer present to hear, "Happy Easter, Bunny!" Yet, in the dark, quiet hours of this coming Easter morning, I will awake and speak the words, "Happy Easter, Bunny," and will be comforted. I will not hide baskets or eat a lamb cake, but I will look at the Easter lily in church. My eyes will tear and my throat will close as I hear the words, "He is risen!"

And I will whisper, "He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!"

"Happy Easter, Bunny" reminds me of a lifetime of love, joy, happiness and traditions. I will recall the past and delight in His gifts of today: another wife, a new family, new traditions, and the opportunity to share Him in all I do.

I thank God for traditions. I thank God for memories. I thank God for promises. I thank God for new traditions.

Happy Easter ...

This was first published for Easter 2010.

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