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Six years and one week ago today my mom came home from the hospital after her surgery. We got her all snuggled into bed, trying to avoid looking at her surgical drains, and tried to figure out what was going to happen next. It was Easter Sunday and Mom’s next task was to recover from the bilateral mastectomy she just had and prepare for her first round of chemotherapy two weeks later- on her birthday.
That Easter was one of the best Easters I can remember. We weren’t able to go to church, but the Easter spirit still made its way into our home. Our closest family friends came to visit, toting a complete feast and Easter goodies. All of the people we loved were there, and it ended up being one of the last Easters we had with my grandmother.
Since then, Easter has been my favorite holiday because it represents everything I hold dear to my heart: the thanks I have for my mom’s survival, the gratitude I have towards all of the people that have helped us when we needed it, and most of all, my family.
I remember the Easter egg hunt my sister and I had the year after Mom came home- we still have them, even though we are both in our twenties. My grandfather had an extensive collection of coins and, after he passed away, Grandma would put them in plastic eggs and hide them around the yard for Katie and I to find. Apparently her hiding skills got better as Katie and I got older. There was one specific egg, the last one, which we couldn’t find to save our lives. But my parents insisted we keep searching.
The final egg, a blue one, was hidden in a hole in the limestone of our house. Katie and I both saw it at the same time, and just laughed at the fact that it was hidden on the wall. I think it had a twenty dollar bill in it, which was the grand prize of the hunt, so Katie and I split it.
For the first time since I’ve been in college, I got to spend Easter at home this year. Mom flew me in from Boston on Thursday night and I came back to school that Monday. This year the four of us spent Easter with another special family, and I got to help my two favorite kids- ages 4 and 8- find the eggs hidden throughout the yard. I smiled as they cracked open each egg, excited every time they found a new treat. And I couldn’t help but think about the Easter we had seven years ago.
Like the eggs left behind by the Bunny himself, every Easter holds a new and exciting surprise. We never know what it hides, but it always promises an adventure as we try to figure out what it is.
Every time I come home, be it from school or the grocery store, I look at the hole in the limestone and smile, imagining the blue egg that once hid there, nestled in, and waiting to be opened. I smile as I think of my mom, healthy, and of my family, happy.