I have been a bit down all day yesterday and today, struggling to put my finger on why. And then I realized. Tomorrow, Easter Sunday, will be the first time my extended family, my mom, local brothers and sister-in-law, niece, and nephew, has been together since my Dad’s funeral on December 30. It will also be the first family gathering at my home since Dad’s passing. One of a calendar full of "the first time without Dad" moments and events.
It still seems surreal that he isn’t with us. When asked today what we were doing for Easter Sunday, I caught myself telling my sister-in-law that my parents were coming. It was like a weight was crushing down on my chest when I realized what I said.
Our table will be full tomorrow, thanks to lots of family and my niece’s and daughter’s boyfriends, all the chairs taken, but there will be a gaping space in my heart.
In preparation for tomorrow’s dinner, I decided to keep things really simple, just use paper plates, napkins, cups, disposable silverware. Made a special trip to target to get something I liked. But as I looked at the unopened packages on my dining room table, I stopped. I couldn’t do it. Paper was not enough. Somehow it felt wrong.
Let me be clear, this is not about impressing anyone, and I’m all for simple and easy, something I’ve learned well over this past year of chronic illness. But no. Paper wasn’t…honoring.
Here’s the thing. Easter has always been a holiday near and dear to my heart, for many reasons. But it rings stronger, pulls deeper within me this year than others past. Easter is hope of resurrection, life eternal, because of what happened that Sunday morning all those years ago. And because of that hope, the hope to which I cling and the hope my Dad had, I can KNOW that I will see him again. I can KNOW that he is with Jesus, celebrating Easter like never before in his Wranglers, cowboy boots, and suspenders.
So to honor that, to honor my King and to honor my Dad who is with him, I lay out my simple/beautiful white china. And cloth napkins. And silverware that won’t be in the trash by 4pm tomorrow. I honor what Easter is, Who it is, and the difference it makes. I miss my Dad. I will the rest of my life, I’m sure. But I know he’s saving a seat for me at the banquet table.
It is by His great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
I Peter 1:3