As a child, Easter was always a special time of year for our family. We had family Easter egg hunts, went to church for early sunrise service, and ate dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Gerdom at their home. Our cousins came from Peoria, Illinois, and from across town from us in Burlington, Iowa. The food tasted incredible, and joking with family brought joy and laughs.
Uncle Warren entertained us by removing his glass eye and grossing us out! Uncle Marvin taught us kindness, patience, and environmental information. I admired these men. With no father influence in my life, I envied my cousins.
One aunt hid in the bathroom when clean-up time rolled around. We all teased her since this was a “holiday happening” when we met at Gramma’s. Aunt Jean used “colorful language” and acted tough and cranky, but we knew inside she loved us deeply. My other aunt was a jokester, too. Aunt Dorothy appeared softer and more feminine than Aunt Jean, but she held her own when the family teasing started!
We cousins enjoyed getting into trouble together. We’d retreat to the basement and play Hide-and-Seek. My sister shoved our cousin, Fred, off the steps when she discovered he was hiding next to her! For some reason Grandpa had tires in his basement. We rolled them at each other in the dark. Because of all the screaming heard from us, eventually the adults kicked us out and took us to a movie. They thought they needed peace… I found out later these adults usually argues about politics or some issue of the time. At other times they just took naps, or played cards.
I enjoyed these days greatly! Karen, my cousin from Peoria was lots of fun, and her brother, Gene, was quiet and reserved. He was a lot older than the rest of us, so we were punks to him… Fred and Janis lived in the same town, but we rarely saw them. I felt almost like an outcast when we reunited, though. They all had blonde hair and blue eyes. So did their parents and my mother. Except for my oldest brother’s light brown eyes, I had the only brown eyes mine were dark) among them, and my hair was dark brown with dark-auburn highlights throughout.
Janis showed us her ability to contort her body in so many ways! We never knew what to expect the next time we’d see her. Fred tried to ignore us, but we made sure he couldn’t! Karen fascinated me with her knowledge and interests of animals and plants. She lived on a farm, and I was a city-girl.
With Easter just around the corner, these memories come flooding back to me today. I miss those days, the fun and trouble, the conversations, my aunts and uncles and Grandparents all gone now. Thank you, Lord, for the childhood I experienced and each one who affected me.
Thank you that holidays like Easter still offer opportunities for families to unite and grow together. Most of all, thank you, Lord, for Jesus and His redeeming gift of grace to all that acknowledge Him for Who He is!
What does this coming holiday of Easter impact you? Are your memories of family gatherings and activities, relationship-building? Is Christ’s resurrection important to you? Thanks for coming by today. Please let me hear from you.