My most vivid Easter memory is not, I’m sorry to say, of some stirring sermon I heard in church one Easter Sunday. Nor is it of any particular “Easter Bonnet” I once wore. (And I did, by the way, wear Easter Bonnets once upon a time when females were required to wear headwear in Church.)
No, my most vivid Easter memory is from second grade. My brothers and I woke up at some ungodly hour all giddy with excitement because the Easter Bunny had surely arrived and we could feast on chocolate to our little hearts’ content – at least until Mom and Dad got up and took away our baskets until after dinner when we might be allowed to have a sweet or two.
I was the sage eldest sister at the ripe old age of 7 and my brother Andrew was a cute 5-year-old towhead. That year we were introduced for the first time to those pastel-colored malted milk eggs – you know the ones I’m talking about? We had never had them before and, instead of crunching into them as John and I were doing, Andrew started sucking on them. And, to our horror, his lips turned a vivid shade of blue! We didn’t know what had happened, but we wondered if he was going to be forced to live forever with bright blue lips. Or perhaps he might succumb to some horrible Blue Lip Disease. We simply didn’t know. And, c’mon, you’ve gotta remember – we’d only lived thus far into the single digits. We didn’t have the life experience of, say, a 10-year-old!
Anyway, being the sage eldest sister at the ripe old age of 7 meant that I had a judgment call to make. We could immediately awaken our parents to handle the blue lip situation. Or we could let it go for a short while and see if Andrew keeled over dramatically clutching at his lips, at which time we would, without question, wake up our parents.
Naturally, our oldest brother, John, didn’t want to sound the alarm because our parents would take away our Easter baskets a whole lot sooner than anticipated. But sage eldest sisters also don’t want the responsibility of forcing younger brothers to go through life with bright blue lips.
So, Andrew and I tiptoed into our parent’s bedroom and gently shook my mother’s shoulder. As an RN, we figured she had all the medical knowledge required to handle a situation such as this. And we thought she’d take one look at Andrew and bound out of bed with an immediate solution.
Instead, she sleepily looked at him and then looked at me. I must have had such a look of consternation on my face that she simply laughed! And then she told Andrew to get a washcloth and wipe off the blue dye.
Oh, and then she told us to put away our Easter baskets until after dinner. Bummer.
When we got a little older, my little sister Denise and I would take the pink eggs and smear them over our lips intentionally so we could wear “lipstick.” I don’t really remember, but I suspect Mom probably told us to get a washcloth and wipe the pink dye off our lips.
Anyway, I still remember that particular Easter Sunday and it makes me smile.
I’m not sure which of the priests will be delivering the sermon at St. Andrew’s this Easter Sunday, but I’m sure it’ll be stirring. And it might even replace the blue lips story as my most vivid Easter memory. Maybe.
Whatever your plans, I hope you’ll spend Easter Sunday with family and friends making lasting memories of your own.