Easter. It used to be a holiday about a far away concept of resurrection and the promise of victory over death when all is said and done. I loved the dresses and baskets and egg dying and feasting.
Then Camille died.
The next Easter I wanted to CELEBRATE. I wanted Easter to be THE holiday of all holidays in our home. I wanted the countdown to be long and focused on how great a blessing we have been given in the conquering of death by our Lord and Savior and his glorious resurrection. And it was that year ... and nearly so the next.
Last year Easter seemed to sneak up on me and we did our focus and remembering more between Easter and Camille's birthday. And it was still good.
This year has been a rough one for me. We are nearly four years out now. Yet Camille has been on my mind and close to my heart more than normal as of late. I have been missing her.
Harrison is now about 6 weeks younger than Camille was when she passed away. He has her eyes and mouth and build. He isn't walking or even really trying to yet. Neither was Camille. He is about her weight. He likes to make funny sounds with his mouth like she did. He is climbing things like she did. He maneuvers the stairs up and down like a pro just like she did.
He is snuggly and cuddly and he hugs me tight and gives me kisses and likes to gently nibble on my shoulder. He loves for me to carry him around. He loves on all his siblings and dad too. He is a sheer joy to every member of this family. Even Noble has no sibling rivalry concerning Harrison. (Except that he also wants to be carried everywhere since Harrison gets to be.) Mostly Noble is just pleased as punch that he has a brother.
And so I miss her. I miss her because I see her in him every day. It is a blessing and I wouldn't wish it any other way. Shakespeare must have known grief to have written these lines for Constance after her son dies in King John:
"Grief fills the room up of my absent child,
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me, Puts on his pretty looks, repeats his words, Remembers me of all his gracious parts, Stuffs out his vacant garments with his form: Then have I reason to be fond of grief?"
Yes I would not wish away the remembrance of my sweet Camille that I get each time I look at her younger brother.
Still it has made for a mixed bag of emotions on this Easter Sunday. I have felt great sorrow and ache and joy and gratitude beyond words. I have been close to tears feeling my sweet daughter close by my side today. Meanwhile I long for that day when we can be together again face to face.
And it has been a quiet and simple Easter as I have sorted through and explored my "Easter basket" of emotions today.
We woke to a breakfast of German pancakes that "rose" up in the oven. We watched a video on the Savior's death and resurrection. The kids found Easter baskets. Lauren wrote me a beautiful Easter poem about dyed eggs. We put on our new Easter outfits. Our family wore blue today ... a vivid tribute to our angel's eyes. We took a quick family photo or two and got to church.
After church we headed to Grandma and Grandpa Waite's for Easter dinner and time with family.
Now the house is quiet and the vacation is over. Back to school and life tomorrow. Except I think we will still do our focus and remembering for the next 11 days till Camille's birthday. I need to suck more pure joy out of the great promise and gift my Savior has secured for me and all of us. Happy Easter everyone.