Since Matt died, holidays have truly sucked. But since I have two very sweet kids to keep it together for, I try to make the best of them.
This Easter wasn't so bad, though... The street I live on has at least five families that we are friends with now - the parents are around my age, and their kids are around the same ages as mine.
They invited us to their annual Easter egg hunt that they hold in the front yards of three homes that are all next to each other - just a few doors down from us! After the kids found their Easter baskets and feasted on their chocolate bunnies, we headed across the street to the hunt...
There were about two hundred eggs for over a dozen kids from the neighborhood, and the kids all had such a blast. The grown ups had fun, too - mimosas! I've never had a mimosa until then, and never had a buzz that early in the morning! (at least that I can remember...)
At one point, I looked around at the kids, looked at the grown ups, and took it all in. The tears just poured out of my eyes without even realizing it. Tears of happiness that we're able to share in this wonderful community, that my kids didn't miss out on an Easter egg hunt, tears at how much Matt would have loved this and how well he would have gotten along with everyone, and tears about how much our lives have changed in such a short period of time, and the gaping hole in my heart from his absence.
While I stood there, I thought about Easters past. When I was little and my brother and sister were still living at home, my brother could literally sniff out our baskets. When they flew the coop, the tradition for a few years was that my mom and I would go to the Sheridan East hotel with my Aunt Dottie, Uncle Al and cousins Dana and Michael (before Lorinda was born) and spend the night there. We swam in the pool (I just LOVE the smell of chlorine and warmth - it brings me right back there) and played in the elevators. The next morning we would wake up and look for our Easter baskets in the hotel room. Some Easters at that time were spent at my dad and stepmom's house. I remember one Easter in particular when they really poured it on, trying to talk me into living with them instead of my mom (I think I was around seven). More recently, I spent Easters with Matt and his family... most times, it was at his parents' house when they still lived in Buffalo, complete with an Easter egg hunt outside the house (pretty much rain or shine), and many at his aunts' and uncles' houses.
After the hunt, we went home and I put the ham in the oven for the Easter dinner I was preparing for my brother and his family. I was so happy to prepare for their visit - especially since that would be the first Easter my brother and I spent together in probably over twenty years. We all thoroughly enjoyed the ham, yams, mashed potatoes, broccoli and whatever else we ate that night. Somehow, I've become quite the cook since I moved here - this oven ROCKS.
The screen saver on my computer is programmed to show pictures on my hard drive, and just last night I caught the part where it showed pictures from the last Easter we spent in Buffalo at his Aunt Ony and Uncle Paul's house. It's amazing to see how much the kids have grown in just a year.
I must be making some progress because I'm actually beginning to feel some gratefulness about being alive to celebrate another holiday, even though my love is gone.