Easter Sunday was last week and is first and foremost a celebration of the resurrection of my King. I will never lose sight of that. However, there are some other important aspects to the day that I cannot overlook and it gives me an opportunity to reflect on one of the most significant blessings of my life.
My family. I am blessed to have been raised in a home that cherishes relationships.
My extended family on my father’s side is huge! Many aunts, uncles, and cousins sprinkle that canvas. Although we were not particularly close as I grew up due to proximity and shear number :), there are certainly relationships that I value greatly. In particular my Uncle Doyle has always been a part of important events in my life. I count these relatives among my many blessings, especially because of how they shaped my father into the man I love and respect today.
My extended family on my mother’s side is a beautiful tapestry in and of itself. She has only 2 sisters, but because of our location and their emphasis on connection, we all grew up very close. I have 2 cousins in particular that populate my memories more than others – Jill and Julie. This is because we are close in age, despite their need to constantly point out that they are younger :), and our mothers are twins, best friends, and at one time, constant companions.
It seems that most of my family memories include these beautiful women and I truly do consider them the sisters I never had. I have always been a little envious of their relationship (still am), but never underestimate the blessings I have been given in them. One day, those memories rattling around in my head about our childhood adventures will definitely come to the surface, but for today, suffice it to say that I love them dearly.
So why all this family talk today? Well, last week was Easter as I mentioned and that day holds sweet memories for me. I know it is not always easy to find time to gather with family and there are often other pressing things that need to happen, but I will never stop appreciating the snippits of time we share together. Now that the “cousins” are grown, we rarely get to all be together and this Easter was no exception. However, those that do gather each year share in the traditions that make us who we are. We all come together after worshiping at our respective churches to maintain and build these traditions.
One such habit is taking those dreaded pictures in the front yard! For as long as I can remember, each individual family gathered and posed on this day, in our “Sunday Best” in front of blooming flowers and were snapped from every angle from multiple cameras. Then there were the obligatory sibling/cousin/grandparent, etc… shots that followed.
As a child, I couldn’t wait to be done with this moment, get out of my dress and start running around. Even now, I breathe a short sigh of relief when the event is concluded. I would, however, trade nothing for the memories that were created and the photos that were captured throughout the years during these moments.
After the photo shoot is lunch – which was always and still is simply a necessary prelude to the Egg Hunt! Monnie-Moo’s backyard and now Nena’s was transformed into a magical place with hidden treasures that were gathered, divided ;), and devoured by us as children and now by our children.
Watching my kids play with their “cousins” and experience their family is a pleasure for me and helps to make the celebration of our Risen King a little sweeter.
Christ’s sacrifice demands me to focus on him on this most important of days, but I feel strongly that one way to do that is by spending time with those he has blessed me with. Family.