Betty made me a lovely little Easter basket! Just enough candy that I will feel sick if I eat it all in one go, which is pretty much perfect.
I was 24 when I realized that Easter was about Jesus. Honestly. Nobody had ever explicitly told me so before. At least not that I recall.
In our house, Easter was fun! Easter was dyeing eggs and the Easter Bunny and huge baskets of candy and eating so much chocolate you would almost throw up. I don't even remember if we had Easter dinner growing up. But Jesus? Not so much.
I think Jusus was, to me, like the rest of the gods and goddesses in the countries we lived in. Jesus, Ganesh, Vishnu, Parvati. . .Important. Holy. It probably sounds terrible to lump them together, but nobody singled him out for me.
I mean, I knew about Jesus. Because we always said grace - in English at home and in Norwegian at my Gramma Lillian's house. And Jesus was in that grace prayer. How did I gloss over him for Easter? Dunno.
And for the two years in high school that our parents dragged us to mass so that we'd have some religion and not grow up and join the Moonies, that whole Jesus-Easter connection somehow escaped me. Probably because I was so bitter about being up that early. I was saying the words along with the rest of the congregation but not actually thinking about their meaning.
Easter the year I was 24, I went to the beach with a boyfriend. The one I now refer to as the gay boyfriend. But at that point, our relationship was brand new. At that point, he was still sticking to his Catholic upbringing (mostly), I think, living life as a heterosexual, planning to get married, have a wife, kids, etc etc. I had months of insecurity and tumult ahead of me. And almost a year and a half before being told he was gay.
But this weekend, this was the beginning. He was really cute. And tall and athletic and oh so smart. We were living in Ecuador and his Spanish was fantastic but my accent was better than his, which impressed him. And I was always trying to impress him. It was nervous and new and fun.
We took off for a long weekend at the beach with no reservations and no plans. We found a charming place to stay, and I remember what an adventure it felt like. And there was all that giddy newness, when everything is fun and exciting.
He was raised rabidly Catholic (as was my dad, and he hates when I use this phrase as much as when I use profanity) and I had some worry that he'd want to go to mass or something, but there was no mention of it the night before, and I certainly wasn't going to suggest it.
I'd made him an Easter basket, because, of course, for me Easter was all about the candy, and kept it hidden till Easter morning. He woke up and I gave him the basket and said, "Happy Easter!"
And he said, "Yes! The day of the Risen Lord!"
"Day of the Risen Lord!"
"I heard you, but what are you talking about?"
"Jesus? The cave? On the third day? Ascended into Heaven? Any of this ring any bells?"
And it all came together. Right! Jesus! Easter! Day of the Risen Lord!
And Cadbury eggs!