The first thought that came to my awakening brain this morning as I made coffee was profound regret that I no longer own an Easter bonnet. I know…crazy…but that’s the way my mind works. Easter hats were the norm when I was a child. In fact, hats were routine apparel for any Sunday. Mother owned a few, and Grandma Bea had rows of them at the top of her closet. Each was kept in its own little box to protect it from critters (us) and dust. Most of Gran’s hats were tiny brimless things with veils. They were held in place with lovely pearl topped hat pins that Gran kept in her jewelry box. My favorite was a burgundy velvet one. I loved, loved, loved the feel of it.
I also loved hats with big brims and flowers, and Easter church service was always the time and place to see the best ones. Some of Gran’s friends must have spent a fortune on hats! And gloves of course. Let us not forget that no self-respecting woman in a hat would be caught without gloves.
I don’t think I have a photo of me wearing a hat as a child, although I do remember owning a couple. One in particular comes to mind because it was a hard little thing that hurt my head, and I wore it anyway. I thought it made me look so grown up! I do have this photo of me as a teen, wearing my Easter hat at an FHA event.
April also brings back a flood of family memories. Easter was usually a time for bigger and better family gatherings than Christmas, especially if it fell in April, because the weather was so much better, and travel was easier. Gary and I were married on March 31, which in 1972 was also Good Friday. We chose that date because it was the only weekend when both of us could get off work! Mom and Dad were married in April, just before he graduated from high school. Gran was born (1908) and died (2000) in April. Tomorrow marks ten years since she went to be with Jesus.
Another wonderful Easter memory for me is of years spent working on passion play dramas for a variety of churches. I especially enjoyed the outdoor one we did with the First Baptist Church of Caddo. Sherry Morris and I had so much fun making the costumes (and reminding people to take off their watches!). We also helped create the sets and spent hours and hours making fake rocks! I also worked for years as a costume designer and seamstress for Trinity Baptist Church in Fresno, CA. They had an outstanding music/drama program and it was my privilege to participate in some soul saving presentations of the death and resurrection of our Savior.
Easter is also an annual reminder of the day I gave my heart to Jesus. I remember the moment like it was yesterday. I remember my best friend’s surprise because we hadn’t talked about it. I remember walking down the aisle to take the hand of Vance Crowe, our preacher. I was baptized on a Wednesday at a summer revival when I was sixteen, but the memory comes back to me each Easter, not because of the reminder of the sacrifice of Jesus, but because I wore a white dress with rows and rows of embroidered flowers on the skirt! I told you I was crazy. I’ve often tried to recall if perhaps I bought and wore that dress earlier for Easter, but my mind memory lacks that detail.
I was reminded this week, too, of all the Christian people who have blessed and changed my life. When I went to see my ophthalmologist Thursday I read this note on his door- “In honor of the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we will be closed on Friday.” What an honor and privilege to be treated by someone with such honest faith! And he is just one of many who grace my life. I have colleagues who pray with and for me. I have family members who are devoted to making the world a better place. I have friends who manifest Christian love and service each day. Much of the joy and peace of my life can be attributed to the people who surround me with their love.
I hope you are blessed this Easter Sunday by warm memories, faithful friends, and loving family members.
And because I’m also a weak, sinful woman with a wicked sense of humor, I leave you with this photo of my children on Easter Sunday 1986…just because they thought I would never dare post it! Love you sweet children! Honestly, I do…