April 12, 2020: An Empty Holiday Table
I love holidays. I love the way they help to mark the seasons and the annual calendar. I love the traditions involved in each one. I love that they allow us time to pause and be with our loved ones. I love the rhythm they add to our year. I love planning and decorating for each and every holiday.
While I love all holidays, Easter has always held a special place in my heart. I remember growing up, we always got new Easter outfits which included hats and new spring shoes. I always looked forward to coloring Easter Eggs and hunting for them. Growing up in the northeast, Easter also ushered in the warmer, springtime weather. Snow melted, flowers bloomed. Easter was like a breathe of fresh air!
As an adult, those Easter traditions continued with my daughter, and now my granddaughters. I still spend weeks getting ready- filling Easter Baskets, baking treats, and planning for Easter Dinner.
But this Easter Sunday, my table sits empty. There is a ham in the oven, but it is a small one for just Jeff and me.
We will facetime with our Granddaughters to find out what the Easter Bunny left for them. I will call my dad and step mom to see how their day is going. We will text our siblings, and I will email my aunt. But none of us will be physically together this year.
In this time of crisis, my table will sit empty. There will be no hugs, no babies on my lap, no eggs to hide. No crowds in the kitchen ushering dishes to the table. No leftovers to package to send home with guests as they leave. No pile of dirty dishes to load into the dishwasher.
But I know that the choices we make to stay apart are the right choices. That choosing NOT to go to church, or gather together is the only way to keep our loved ones safe. These choices also support the sacrifices our medical professionals and first responders are having to make every day.
My empty holiday table this year will be a memory I hope to hold on to for years to come.
It will remind me of the year we realized that we really do live in a global world and that what happens far away will ultimately impact us. And that we came out of the crisis with more empathy and caring.
It will remind me of the year that life came to a screeching halt as we all retreated to the safety of our homes. But that we realized we could still do so much from home.
It will remind me of the spring when we all had empty calendars and social distancing became the norm. But we found ways to stay connected anyway.
It will remind me that we are resilient and that we can handle anything.
As we look forward to the end of this crisis and getting back to a normal life, I wish you all a safe and peaceful Easter 2020!