Happy Easter to all of you!
I was very happy when I was reading, learning, and writing about literature. When I was in college I studied the poetry of the Chilean winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature , Pablo Neruda. This is one of the last few lines to his poem “Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines”. To me, this line makes makes me think “life is short, forgetting is so long.”
“El amor es tan corto, y es tan largo el olvido.”
“Love is short, and forgetting is so long.”
I thought about that line this morning, while I was baking a cake for our Easter dinner. You realize just how short a time we spend on this earth compared to the length of its existence.
Happy Family Traditions
I started to think about how my holiday traditions have changed over the years. Then I remembered the way my family and I grew up spending this particular holy day. Easter was a happy day for me and my 2 younger brothers and sister. We would excitedly get up early to check our Easter baskets. Then we would dress up and go to church. Afterwards, our family drove 20 minutes south to eat at the best fried chicken restaurant in southeast Kansas, Chicken Annie’s. We celebrated this dinner with my dad’s side of the family. We didn’t see them as often as we would have liked since we were spread out over many miles.
No matter how good the chicken tasted, my favorite part of the day was going to my grandparents’ farm after dinner. My dad was the third of 9 kids in a large, Catholic family. Grandpa worked the farm, and Grandma stayed busy cooking and taking care of lots of children.
Easter Sunday was so much fun, because since my Daddy has such a big family, it meant there were lots of cousins to play with. One of my favorite memories was on one particular Easter. We spent the afternoon playing softball with cousins, aunts, and uncles. This was like a dream game to me, playing with my family and having so much fun.
So this morning as I baked my cake I started crying, thinking about my grandparents who have both recently passed away. I cried for a life that just no longer exists.
The memories made me realize how difficult change can be in our everyday lives. It doesn’t matter if it is a gradual change that takes decades or a very abrupt change that literally happens over night. Strange, but I guess this was a gradual change, yet it felt like it all happened just yesterday.
I recall how when I first started to fall into my “great depression”. Part of it was brought on by fear of the unknown and the indescribable fear of losing my loved ones. Now that these things have come to pass, I finally feel at peace, even though I also feel sadness. I understand now that dying is a part of living and this includes losing the people we love most in our lives.
I guess now in hindsight, it all just makes more sense to me. It isn’t necessarily sadness I feel for what I no longer have. I just have more of a longing and missing for what is no longer here. I will always remember for “forgetting is so long.” My hope is that I can look back at those moments and smile at the happiness. I hope not to cry because of any sadness.
Grief and Moving On
People say that everyone grieves differently and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. It’s okay to show and share your emotions. It’s okay to laugh, cry, and tell stories. I take comfort in my beliefs. I know that I will see my loved ones again when my day comes to leave this world. In the meantime, I want to enjoy my family right now in the present. That is where my happiness lies. This is what we all should focus on. Don’t worry about tomorrow, and don’t cry for yesterday. Seize the day. Live for today. Live moment to moment, but most importantly, be happy!
Rest in Peace A.J.K. and B.F.K.