This is a guest post by Ann Hawkins. Ann is a wife, mom and granny, who loves to write and has her “Eye on the Sky”..Heb. 9:28
I threw the covers off and hopped out of bed. Today was Easter. I was seven years old and the happiest kid in the world.
I pulled off my PJ’s while listening to the sounds of my cousins waking up all over our grandparent’s big farmhouse. It was tradition for our whole family to spend Easter Eve at their house. We got up early for an egg hunt, breakfast and church.
I tied my shoes in a hurry and joined the herd thundering down the stairs. I pushed open the squeaky screen door and let out a whoop as it slammed with a bang. Papa was in the porch swing with coffee in his hand and a smile on his face. The wonderful smells coming from the kitchen told me where mom, mama and my aunts were.
I jumped off the porch and headed for the “egg patch”. My uncles were already passing out baskets and directions. The signal was given and the hunt was on. After all the scurrying ceased and our baskets had been viewed, Uncle Willy announced that no one had found the prize egg. At that moment I tripped over a shoestring I had too hurriedly tied and lost my balance. I hit the ground and there it was, the prize egg, peeking out from under the lilac bush. I squealed as I grabbed it and placed it securely in my basket. The prize egg would be traded for the biggest stash of chocolate a kid could ever wish for.
As soon as Papa said “Amen”, the sound of forks on stoneware got deafening. I hurriedly topped off bacon and eggs with a big biscuit and mom’s homemade raspberry jam. I gulped down my orange juice and with my cousins headed upstairs to get ready for church. Time was getting closer.
Dad couldn’t be here today but after church mom and I was heading his way. I was busting at the seams to tell him what had happened yesterday morning. I was sitting in moms lap, listening to the rhythm of her rocking chair. She was reading from the Bible she and dad had been reading to me from ever since I could remember. But this time was different. As mom read this story of death and life, I understood John 3:16 and I embraced it with all my heart. I knew what Easter meant and that changed everything.
I remember my seventh Easter with clarity. In quiet moments I can still hear the laughter, smell the food and feel the comfort of family. Never again was the prize egg found under the lilac bush, though I looked there first every year. The chocolate that egg had won me was a prize indeed but it paled as mom and I got closer to the bend in the road. My skipping halted as I pulled my hand from moms and ran ahead of her. “Dad,” I yelled excitedly, “I know what Easter means,” I said as I danced around him. I reached out and whispered, “It means this stone can’t hold you either.”
– Ann Hawkins