Easter 2009. The last holiday I spent with you.
I miss your help this morning. I plan an Easter egg hunt later. We would have laughed together while you helped me put the candy in the Easter eggs and the prizes in their baskets. You would have hid the eggs for all the guests. And you would have delighted in watching everyone look for them, proud of all your hiding places. I would find Easter eggs for days after.
I am making ham and artichoke casserole--your favorites. Remember when Aunt Terry, Uncle Marv and all the kids came for a holiday and I found them eating my cold casserole as a dip?
Lisa and Annalise came Friday night. Lisa and the baby slept in my bed. I slept in Steve's room in your bed – the one I bought you for your first apartment. Annalise looks a lot like you did as a baby. She is almost 3 months old. She laughed for the first time Friday night in my living room. I was singing her “there was one in the bed and the little one said, rollover, rollover; there were two in the bed and the little one said roll over, roll over.” She giggled as I bounced her up and down on my knees. She smiled when I blew raspberries on her little round belly and nibbled on chubby toes and fingers. I hummed her lullabies I hummed you and walked rocking her until she fell asleep. Then, as she slept, I sat with her in my big leather easy chair and held her cradled, pressed close to my chest while she slept. All I could think was thank you. Thank you for this moment.
There are no Easter pictures of you that do not include the bunny cake. I made two bunny cakes on Saturday morning with Lisa, one for Easter dessert at my house, one for her to take to Easter dinner at her mom’s. The last Easter we spent together I made you the bunny cake. When you came through the front door, Sadie running in front of you, it was the first thing I offered up to you after we hugged and I kissed you on the cheek.
“Look.” I said the bunny cake.
You stood back, looked at the cake, then looked back at me. “I have something to tell you.” You told me.
“What?” I asked, apprehensive about what you had to say.
“I've always hated bunny cake.”
“You have? For 27 years I have made you a bunny cake for Easter.”
“I didn't want to tell you--you've always had so much fun making it.” You said.
“You hate bunny cake?” I was surprised.
You answered, “Not really the bunny cake per se. I'm not a fan of coconut. I didn't want to tell you because we always had so much fun making it. Dying the coconut pink with red food color for the inside of the ears. Putting on the black gumdrop nose, laying the licorice whiskers, putting on pink gumdrop eyes. Then there were the jellybeans. You always liked the black ones but the others, the red, yellow, green, purple I put in the bunnies bow tie and popped every other one in my mouth. By the time the bunny cake was done I had licked the bowl of batter, the frosting from the beaters and I was full of gum drops and jellybeans. How could I tell you I did not like bunny cake?”
“You've always hated bunny cake?” I shook my head. You followed me into the kitchen. You took down the plates and began to set the table.
Last year, my first Easter after you died, there was no bunny cake. I had just left Dean. I lived in a small house I rented while I waited to buy the home I live in now. I made dinner. Ham, baked potatoes, salad, the artichoke casserole. My dad and his wife Mary came, my sister Linda, and friends of mine you've never met. I made Easter baskets for everyone. Dad and Mary brought me an Easter basket. It had a windup bunny that pooped jellybeans. For some reason this was incredibly funny. I missed making the bunny cake.
This Easter, I am in my new house. The house you've never seen, but is always full of thoughts of you and things you left behind. This Easter, because of Lisa, Annalise, Steve, his daughter Stephi and her boyfriend there was a bunny cake.
And, after everybody left and the dishes were all done, I had a jellybean, a bite of moist white cake covered in frosting and coconut. As I let the flavors melt in my mouth I closed my eyes and tasted memories of all my Easter's with you.
I savored the sweetness.
Kisses and Hugs,