Yesterday I was at the Getting Place getting some “stuff,” and this gave me pause.
And made me a little sad.
The Easter Bunny brought us jelly beans every year, tucked in our green plastic grass that was put away in a bread bag every year for safekeeping until the next Easter. And every year, I would dig through and pull out the black ones first thing. And pass them to my right. Where my Daddy sat at the end of the table. They were his favorites, and little on Easter morning brought me as much joy as giving him these favorites of his.
This was in the day before they bagged the black ones separately all by themselves. Once they started doing that, I usually picked a bag up for him–sometimes for Easter, sometimes just because.
He’d keep the bag with a twist tie on it, and it would be stored in the little wooden box that sat by his recliner in the living room. Daddy would pull out the bag, untwist it, pour a few in his palm, and eat the licorice flavored sweets. Then he’d twist the bag back up, and tuck it away until his sweet tooth called out for them again.
I read something years ago about Holy Saturday, which is upon us now. That first Saturday–the day after Good Friday. It was described as a day of waiting, of uncertainty, of in-between. A day of not knowing.
I think back to the time after Daddy was diagnosed with Lymphoma, his Giant to fight, in 2009. So much of that time felt just like that–waiting, being uncertain, weeping for what we were most afraid of, feeling in-between, longing for resurrection in the form of good news–remission, a cure, a misdiagnosis, a miracle, something, anything.
What I didn’t know or see at the time is that in those moments of waiting, there were many small moments of redemption and life-affirming joy. In the midst of the fear, there was faith. In the grasping for answers, there was hope. In the moments of worry and sadness, there was laughter and light in his eyes, his voice, his stories, and his words. In those moments of being in-between, the who we were with conquered where we were.
And that’s as it should be, isn’t it? Even in the hardest of situations, because of who I was with, I was able to get through the where and the what, and move beyond with a tad bit of hope and a whole lot of love.
Daddy’s jelly beans. A precious memory. But what makes it so special is the memory of his hand held out to accept what I offered from mine. The smile on his face, acting like he was surprised that I didn’t want them myself. The way his eyes lit up when he bit into the first one every year. Daddy loved black jelly beans–he loved us even more. And in the waiting, in the uncertainty, it was that love that conquered all.
May your waiting find you surrounded by those who love you, and may you find the joy and peace of Easter waiting for you on the other side.
Love to all.