Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Pebbles

Growing up - I don't think I really had any deep knowledge or understanding of Easter beyond the basics. {When I use the word "Easter" in this post, I mean everything it embodies - resurrection, atonement, forgiveness, etc., etc.} Honestly, I don't remember thinking about it. I'm not saying there weren't plenty of pebbles {experiences tied to Easter} pelting my closed window, because there were. Looking back I see them, anyway. At the time, I just wasn't collecting them and connecting them all together to form the big picture. Some things you just can't force acceptance and understanding. You have to wait until the time is right and the window begins to open.

However, the first time I remember noticing a crack in my window and perhaps actually going out and picking up the guilty pebble and fondling it for a bit was after Nathan was born. Easter now meant knowing that Nathan's body would be whole one day. It didn't matter that it wasn't now. {Okay, well, yes it did/does but my new found knowledge helped alleviate that little issue}. I tossed the pebble into a basket.

A couple of years later, another audible pebble left a mark at my window. It was a sharp little pebble that hurt when I closed my fingers over it to add it to my collection. Now Easter was knowing I would see Stephanie and get to hold her and hopefully {if I did my best} would get the opportunity to raise her. Another pebble rattled in my basket.

Fast forward many, many years - to 1997 and my mother's passing. The pebbles that came flying towards my windows were nothing close to round and smooth. But I carefully added them to my basket. From then to now my window has opened more and more. My personal understanding and appreciation for Easter has been opened proportionately. I have added to my basket as I have collected an assortment of pebbles - many of which were buried under years of debris.

I think the most important one was found a couple of days ago in a picture Joe forwarded to me from his phone. They'd had a few minutes to wait in Mapleton and so they had taken a detour into the Springville Evergreen Cemetery. He sent me this picture with a text message saying "Grandma says hi":

I was a beast at best growing up and I know I didn't make Mother's life easy. We didn't have Family Home Evening more than a handful of times that I remember so there wasn't a whole lot of gospel teaching going on in our home. I even quit going to church for a big chunk of time. But as my four-year-old knees knelt around that rectangle of stone and cement pictured above, putting all her baggage and bitter feelings aside, my mother taught me about Easter and how it applied to me. And I've never forgotten.

Taking a break from pulling weeds and edging around the cement corners; arranging freshly cut flowers in the little tin cans on either side of the headstone; trimming the shrubs {or were they rosebushes? I don't remember now} and sweeping away the bugs and dirt, I would trace my fingers in the etchings that spelled out my dad's name. Mother would reconfirm we were only taking care of this site out of respect to him. It was important that I know that my Daddy was not in the ground below. My Daddy was in heaven doing important work and watching over me. Tending to that little bit of earth may have been when I heard the most positive things about him and about me and about him and me as a relationship. His spirit was there and I've found the pebbles that were tossed.

At this Easter, I thank my Heavenly Father for a basket full of pebbles. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks. We didn't show a lot of hugs and kisses or share I love you's, but we knew we were loved. Mother always said daddy wasn't at the cemetery but I spent time out there talking to him. He missed out on so much but was in a better place. Mother picked up the pieces and carried on. Love and thanks to them both, and to you, Janis, for your insight and extraordinary thoughts on your blog. You are a special person. Lots of Love.