Easter 2019 looked very different from Easter 2020.
Last year around this time I was counting down the days before my parents arrived in Georgia, scheduling our housekeeper to get things nice and tidy before they arrived, planning a list of fun things to show and do with my parents during their visit, coordinating a yummy feast for Easter lunch where we’d be hosting my husband’s family, and looking forward to sunrise service at church on Easter morning. We also had perfect Spring weather and a rousing game of Bocce Ball in our neighborhood square surrounded by lots of families and little ones dressed in their Sunday best.
This year looked completely different. This year, my husband and I were coordinating a Zoom celebration with our various families, due to social distancing and Coronavirus quarantine, around our 2-month-old baby’s nap times. I also whipped up some sides to go with our delivered Honey Baked ham based on the random assortment of pantry items we had (due to shortages at the grocery stores), and I was planning to watch Easter Sunday service in my pajamas from the couch. We spent no time outside due to Coronavirus quarantine and thunder storms and looked upon our very empty neighborhood square with it’s bright yellow signs reminding us that we must have social distance (6 feet!).
Our Easter Zoom celebration crossed three states, four families, and three generations. Everyone shared about their day. Different foods being made, Easter Bunny deliveries, jokes, brunch cocktails, and more. I’ve got no doubt that Easter meant something different to each of us on that Zoom celebration but that’s ok! We were together, with family. I was able to feel and see all that Easter means split between various boxes containing faces I love while eating a delicious feast from the comfort of my living room.
While reflecting more on the day, I realized that as a child Easter carried little significance for me in terms of its “true meaning.” It was much more about the egg hunt, the Easter Bunny, and having fun with our cousins at Grandma’s house. As an adult, Easter became more meaningful. I grew into understanding its meaning – the unconditional love, affordance, grace, hope, and acceptance Jesus provides for us – and really started to allow that meaning to sink into my life and my heart. This Easter, especially with how different it was, caused these things to really ring true. Now more than ever we need to give ourselves and each other grace in this very trying, very scary and strange time. We are afforded so many opportunities with our privilege, even though that privilege feels uncomfortable during this quarantine period. It was also a reminder to me to yet again slow down and reflect on all that is good in our lives and maintain positivity for when things get better and a new normal is able to resume.
I know this will be an Easter to remember for so many reasons. The strangeness, but also I’m sure we’ll talk about that “thing called Zoom” and how we had a virtual holiday celebration. It will also be an Easter to remember because it was our first holiday as a family of three (yay!)… and I was completely unprepared to take any cute Easter pictures of our son in any cute Easter outfits. (Thank goodness for hand-me-downs from his older cousin!) More importantly though, I believe this Easter will be one to remember because it brought together all of our family under one virtual roof. It was an amazing blessing. I’m so grateful to have been able to celebrate, cook, laugh, and enjoy this special time of year and its hopeful reminders.