No pictures. No promoting today. Just some memories I have of Easters past. To say my parents had a huge impact on the person I am today is the understatement of the year.
Take Easter for example. I remember with fond memories going out with my Mom to get an Easter hat, spring coat, new dress, gloves, tights and new shoes. More often than not we would wind up at Bradlees. We'd find said coat, hat, gloves, tights, shoes and dress which of course all matched. Then Mom would take me to the Bradlees lunch counter and we'd have lunch together.
I remember one time in particular when we had tuna salad on toasted bread. My mom commented that the bread should have been toasted darker to make the sandwich more appealing. Years later I told my mom of this memory and she looked at me and said, "Did I really say that?" And I said "Yes you did and when I make toasted tuna salad sandwiches at home the bread is toasted dark just like it should be." She smiled.
I also remember going to the Cold Spring Cemetery on Palm Sunday to put crosses made of the palms we received at Our Lady of Loretto Church on the graves of our departed family members. One particular Palm Sunday there was snow on the ground. My mom ever the stylish lady living on a budget stepped forward to put the palm cross on a family member's grave. She left something more behind than that palm cross. Her stilettos left their turquoise dye behind. I wonder if any of our other family members saw those shoe prints that day?
Now of course my Dad has also created memories for me as well. Being raised Catholic we did not eat meat on Fridays. I asked one Friday night why that was and my father said, "We eat fish on Fridays because Jesus wanted to make sure his disciples could make a living selling their fish." Of course this was my Dad, the wisest man I knew speaking. So when I went to my catechism class the following Wednesday when Sister Anne Charles asked why we don't eat meat on Fridays I could not wait to share my new found wisdom. To say Sister Anne Charles did not have a sense of humor would be another understatement.
My Dad also used to tell us stories about when he was learning how to be an altar boy. Dad was an altar boy at Our Lady of Pompeii Church and went to school at Our Lady of Pompeii School. He told us that he was serving at his first mass alone one Sunday and when it was time to ring the bells he was on the wrong side of the altar. After that mass the pastor told him the easiest way to make sure you're on the correct side of the altar.
Now you could say what does all this have to do with what you are today? What these few instances taught me along with so many others that I've not mentioned are:
A. There's a right way to do things (toasting the bread dark enough to make it look appetizing).
B. You don't need a lot of money to be stylish (dyeing your shoes).
C. Remembering those who have gone before you is really important (putting palm crosses on the graves of our departed family members).
D. Having a sense of humor helps make some of the dictates of religion a bit more bearable (the disciples selling their fish on Fridays).
E. You learn and remember much more from your mistakes than you do from your triumphs (altar boy on the wrong side of the altar).
I hope that I'm passing along similar experiences for my girls to remember long after I'm gone. I'd rather they remember me for things like that than anything else.
I love you Mom and Dad. The memories make it just bearable now that you are not here. But I won't forget the things you've taught me and I hope I do you proud.
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