Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dealing with Easter and Clinging to Impossible

I’ve been in such a mood this last week.  And I feel like I hit my peak this morning.  Very little sleep last night, the kids were cranky, and then – and this really sent me over the edge – Sarah Palin was a guest co-host on the Today Show this morning.  How that woman has gotten anywhere in politics is a mystery to me since she has a problem answering the most benign questions.  I swear, if someone just asked, “How are you?” she’d probably answer with, “Well, my opinion on that is that everyone has their own opinion.”

So when I heard her nasal laughter at 7:30 this morning, I just wanted to get back in my bed and throw my covers over my head. 

Part of my mood lately is the upcoming Easter holiday.  After looking up my Easter blog from last year, it would appear that along with eggs, the Easter bunny drops a foul mood into my basket every year.  Funny how I never really noticed it before.

This year is a little different because I’m not only working through my own holiday widow crap, but also trying to work the day around a significant other and his plans.  And that has me feeling a little blue and more than a little irritable.

I was brought up in the most nuclear family you could possibly imagine.  The only thing we were missing was the .5 kid.  My parents have been married for 43 years, my sister has been married for 16, and I would have been married for 16 as well, if my husband hadn’t made such an early departure.  And in my family (and to me especially) holidays were always a big deal.  My mother always added a touch of class to Christmas, birthdays were dealt with extreme consideration to the honoree, and Easter was filled with little surprises, egg hunts (I even made my parents hide eggs well into my 20s…I know…weird), and the entire family sitting around a big ham.

After my husband and I got married and we had kids, our Easter was spent hunting eggs early in the morning, frantically getting all of the kids ready for church, and then going to the country club for Easter Brunch.  That’s one of my favorite memories:  The kids’ faces lighting up, just waiting for the 6’ tall plush Easter Bunny to make it to our table, while my husband and I made 2000 trips to the buffet, trying to get everyone’s plates filled with the things they liked.  The kids would finish eating just as we got our own plates and my husband and I would power eat so that we could finish before they got cranky due to over-stimulation.

But everything is different now.  My husband is gone, we don’t go to the country club anymore, and other people have to be taken into consideration when blissfully before…we just did things on our own schedule.

My boyfriend is doing his best to work the day around his kids while trying to take into account what we have going on for the day.  And, I’m ashamed to say, no matter what he suggests…it just doesn’t work for me.  And that has turned me into the Easter Bitch.

Every suggestion he has made throughout the last week has been met with and stony “whatever” from me.  However we look at it, the day will be broken up and disjointed, something that families across the country deal with as they work through custody arrangements and mixed families.  And when we deal with scheduling on a day-to-day basis…I understand it’s just the reality of our situation.

But when we deal with it during the holidays, the child in me wants to stamp her foot and scream to the universe, “It’s not fair.”

After my boyfriend came up with 20 different scenarios on how the day could go, trying to please me, the unappeasable, he finally said calmly, “What do you want?”

And in that moment I realized exactly what I wanted.

I wanted the impossible.

I want my husband back.  I want the day to be easier.  I want what I signed up for when I married him 16 years ago.  I want to celebrate as a family and for it to be a no-brainer how the day will go.  I want the regular problems that I used to have:  Getting the kids ready for the day, the two of us struggling to get them all fed without ruining the beautiful outfits my mother bought them, and spending the afternoon doing what we want to do.

I want it back.     

The truth is, my obstinacy about the day has nothing to do with my boyfriend’s schedule, his kids, or his custody agreement.  It has to do with my inability to think of the day differently.  Not one other person seems to mind that the day will be different than it always was:  My kids are just bopping along, ready to go with any plan that we come up with.  My parents will happily welcome him to Easter lunch no matter what time he shows up.  It’s me.  I’m the one who can’t digest that the day will be different.  That it will always be different…no matter how the day is scheduled.

So this Easter has me hunting.  Hunting for acceptance.  Hunting for peace.  Hunting for joy in a life I wasn’t expecting.

Who knows?

Maybe old E. Bunny will leave it in my basket.


  1. Love it! Change is always my bugger in holidays. I'm very familiar with the dispondent "whatever". Meaning, it can't be the way it was supposed to be, so I'm not playing anymore. I don't know if I've truly celebrated (instead of being a passive spectator) a single holiday since my husband's passing. I'm just not enthusiastic about it. I'll be the Easter Bitch with you!

  2. SUCH insight and wisdom in this post, Catherine. You are one honest lady, and I just love you so much for that ♥

  3. this post could've been written by me...every word rings true with me right now, right down to the detail that for some reason Easter is the trigger that brings on my sad phase building up to the anniversary of his death...thanks for sharing! I can commiserate with the blending of families issues...I'm trying to sort that one out too and figure out how to do this blending thing without acting more immature than the children. It's certaintly not the Brady Bunch!

  4. Thank you for this post. When I married, I planned on being a housewife and stay-at-home mom. I worked a part-time job at a church for the time being. Then my husband was diagnosed with cancer and passed away February 2011. We didn't have children and now I've had to completely rethink my life. I would like to marry again, but for now I have to think of how I am going to support myself. I'm working on my Master's degree in Education and will get my teaching certificate. But, I still have wavering thoughts about how I am going to support myself. My family keeps asking me, "What is it that you really want to do?" (In terms of a job/career). I have to keep telling them that I can't have what I want - I want Keith back and I want to be a housewife and mom. Anything that I do with my life now is "Plan B."