My mom would have been seventy today, or at least I’d like to think so. Even had violence not intervened, Mom had been ill for decades, and the decline had become continuous and steepening, even startling as I’d come home after being away for a few months at a time. Still, she was as stubborn a person as I could imagine, and had made much of her life out of fighting her body’s failures, and I think it possible that she might have seen her threescore and ten.
Easter was Mom’s favorite holiday — although as it is in the rest of our culture, Christmas was a bigger deal in our family — and she and I talked about that a few times. She loved the certainty of resurrection it offered, the promise of a time without the pain of loss, the pain of the space between desire and ability, the pain of misunderstanding, the pain of imperfection. These days, I treasure those promises more than I once did, and I value Easter accordingly.
I remember that she was particularly tickled in 2003, when Easter and her birthday coincided as they do today. I trust she enjoys it again today.
I’ll close with a snapshot of my mother in what appears to have been one of her few healthy years, and in one of her moments of goofiness, a share of which I’ve inherited over the years as well.