Originally written - April 16, 2011
Easter has a variety of memories and feelings attached to it. Maybe not a specific memory and maybe not a specific feeling but Easter has emotion simply because of what it is. Perhaps Easter produces images of bunnies, all types of chocolate and little white cups filled with colored vinegar water waiting to dye hard boiled eggs. Maybe you remember egg hunts or a new Easter outfit with squeaky new shoes. (I remember white patent leather.) Your memory might be going to Maundy Thursday service and taking Communion. No matter how many times I take Communion, I weep. The sorrow heaves out of me as I become a part of that symbolism.
But if I'm being honest, and I feel compelled to be as authentic as possible in this blog; my most vivid Easter memory is my mom's marble eggs.
Three weeks before Easter, my mom would unpack the decorations full of bunnies, signs and wreaths. Every year she would open up *the* box. It was my favorite box because it had old cartons filled with marbIe eggs. I couldn’t wait until she opened it. They were beautiful. They were smooth and cool to the touch and the markings were so unique you could find something new every time you held one. The colors were magical and so varying in the depth that it was looking at a road map. Veins of colors. Purple like a bearded Iris flower, speckled cream and grey, and pink the color of salmon. Some of the eggs sparkle and others are dull and flat like a Robin’s egg. Some of the eggs have the slightest nicks or chips in them, but because the colors are so brilliant you can’t see them, you can only feel them. They are about the weight of two golf balls and the oval shape fit snug in the palm of my hand.
The eggs have been around our family for so many years. They have somehow survived three daughters, and six grandchildren. I have enjoyed them every single year. As a toddler, relatives would hide them in the back yard for me to find. When I was a teenager I enjoyed knowing they were there. When my nieces came along, I would hide the eggs for them and would try not to freak out if we couldn’t find all 16 right away. And then when I moved out on my own, every Easter I went home to visit. I would sit at the dining room table and hold them. Roll them around in my hands and enjoy the dull muted sound of them clacking against each other. The sound reminds me of two pool balls smacking into one another. I remember holding one of the eggs in each hand and squeezing them until my hands became tired. The objective was to warm them. I don’t know why I did it. It never worked.
Last year, my mom gave those marble eggs to me. She was downsizing and finding mementos around the house which each of her daughters would treasure. I'm not embarrassed to say that I cried. (A lot.) After about twenty minutes of smiling through my wet face, I held the eggs again. As if they were cherished heirlooms worth millions. They were priceless to me. These eggs meant something different to me now. They weren’t just an Easter decoration on display for three weeks of the year. These eggs are a memory of my mom. A piece of my childhood. They are a part of my family's history. When I look at them, when I hold each of them and when my children discover them in a new way each year. I have my mom.
Christians know that Easter is not bunnies, eggs and chocolate. Those traditions do not represent what Easter is, but indirectly celebrates the joy of the season. Mom's marble eggs are tangible and when I hold them I can feel the charge of emotions and memories racing toward me. I am grateful for Easter. I am humbled by His sacrifice and I am blessed to have been raised by such a Godly woman. She raised me to believe in Jesus and see Him as the Lamb. Images and stories of the crucifixion is horrifying for a child to see and hear, but if she hadn't led me through His suffering and death, I wouldn't have experienced the exuberant joy of His resurrection and my salvation. Sorrow always comes before the joy, but without it, we cannot fully delight in the triumph. Easter has little to do with marble eggs, but it has everything to do sharing that unconditional love with others.
I love you, Mom. Thank you for your gifts. They will last for generations.
Seeds to Share:
John 11:25 - I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.