There’s an incredibly intense, odd, yet distinctive, feeling that I get following every big family gathering, or rather, after family get-togethers that revolve around a special holy day—like Easter and Christmas.
This year, as has often been true in our family life, Michael and I shared the Triduum services with family members and special friends—Thursday’s Mass, Friday’s veneration of the Cross, and the Easter Vigil, the mother of all liturgies.
And at home, of course, everything culminated on Easter Sunday morning, when everyone gathered at our house for a full day of activities and a special meal – the kind of meal with recipes that are only made once a year.
Although the weather didn’t allow us to hang out in the back yard –my favorite! – we had a lovely afternoon full of laughter and games and storytelling, and not too many breakdowns J.
We seemed to move like a wave through the house, from room to room, ultimately retreating back into the ocean that is our large living room. That’s where we prayed together, where we had our Easter toast, where the kids drag us to read books—or to read books to us!
We had a traditional egg hunt for the Grands and their friends (11 kids total this year) – as well as the latest Scaperlanda Tribe tradition: a Hunger-Game-style egg hunt for adult “kids” under age 36. You’d have to see it to believe it.
Our meal menu has been the same for the last 23 years: garlicky leg-of-lamb, spinach and artichoke casserole, potatoes chantily, and home made rolls (courtesy of our best bread maker, Anamaría). The menu, by the way, comes from a ripped off page (now laminated) out of a Woman’s World magazine dated 4/11/95. The article was titled, “Amy Grant’s Southern-style Easter feast.” Nope, I’m not kidding.
Today, as I sit in the same large living room that yesterday pulsated with the heartbeat of our family, the space is only filled up by scattered toys, books and empty plastic multi-colored eggs.
I feel overwhelmed by what I can only describe as bitter sweet. I am spent, physically, yet also a bit weepy.
It’s not that I want my life to be different, or that I yearn for my life as it used to be—all those years of exhausting parenting when my awesome foursome all lived under our roof. I am genuinely delighted to watch my kids grow up, as well as to witness first hand the beautiful families that they are building.
Perhaps it’s the all or nothing of it all? That seems to be a constant element of this stage in our lives. Or perhaps I’m simply feeling the sadness that accompanies all true joy, the being truly here, then moving on. I don’t know.
Still, my house is silent. It is empty. There is something to feel here also. Life as is.
|photo by Ignacio Ruiz|
|photo by Ignacio Ruiz|