Easter Memories

Easter weekend is here, and I find myself swimming in nostalgia. I’m not sure why; I guess it’s because so many traditions have been interrupted this year.

As a child, there were Easter customs as ardent as the rules held in Charlton Heston’s arms, which in itself was a tradition. My Dad watched “The Ten Commandments’ on ABC every year. As a child, I bristled with this four-hour tradition. As an adult, I catch myself watching it. It’s strangely comforting.

There were other rituals. Each year we purchased a Paas egg-dye kit. Our eggs never looked like those on the cover. The dye tablets were anemic, and to this day, I have no idea how to use that weird wire egg holder. Despite the frustrations, it was fun. It still is.

Oh, and there was candy. Man, was there ever candy. Jelly beans, miniature chocolates, and Cadbury Eggs so sweet they gave you a toothache. My parents always gave us a solid milk-chocolate rabbit that was so hard it took us two weeks just to eat the ears. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Of course, there was the Easter church service in our new outfits. I hated church clothes, especially new church clothes. They were stiff, ill-fitting, and came with a stern warning not to get them dirty. It felt like wearing a museum. However, this pattern was interrupted one Easter in the mid-80s. A few weeks earlier, we were walking through a store when I spotted the first (and last) church outfit I ever wanted: a purple Miami Vice sport coat. I think for sheer amusement my Mom let me buy it. I wore a yellow t-shirt under it, with light-colored slacks and slip-on shoes. Before leaving the house, I made sure to use enough “Dep” hair-gel to make Pat Riley envious.

And so, that is how Sonny Crockett attended Easter Service at the Bell City Southern Baptist Church in the mid-80s. It was an atypical outfit for a day cloaked in tradition, but it is one of my favorite Easter memories.

This year is atypical too. We would all prefer to embrace the traditions we probably didn’t know we would miss until now. It’s not the Easter we wanted, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it an Easter to remember.

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