Although Easter itself is always glorious, celebrating it yesterday was bittersweet. I did not get to spend the day with my wife and babies, a tough pill to swallow on the holiest day of the year. However, I did have the distinct pleasure of marking the day with my parents and siblings (and their families), something I had not done in six years. Under the circumstances, it was a terrific day.
My parents and I watched Easter Sunday mass from Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral, the mother church of the Diocese of Spokane. In his homily, Bishop Thomas Daly preached that the empty churches caused by COVID-19 will strengthen our faith community even more, helping us realize how important parish life is. As the mass ended, Fr. Darrin Connall recognized the sadness that the candidates who had hoped to be welcomed into the Church this past weekend must be feeling. It made me a little emotional as I thought about their disappointment and then contrasted it with how lucky Sidney was to be confirmed at the start of the Lenten season.
After mass, we ate a sweet and savory brunch. Besides the banana bread and caramel bread, my mom made an Easter Italian pie called pizzagaina. To those who are unfamiliar with this delicacy, visualize a flaky crust filled with ham and macaroni and cheese.
My brother and his fiancée, Carrie, came over in the early afternoon. We spent a couple hours chatting in the living room and munching on candy. At around 3 p.m., my sister and her family arrived. Just so we could get it all over with, we converged on the front yard to take some pictures.
After the photoshoot, we moved from the front yard to the back yard. My brother and Carrie had set up an Easter egg hunt for my sister’s youngest children, Mikayla and Johnny. They scooped up plastic eggs and placed them into their overflowing baskets.
Once the eggcitement from the hunt dissipated, we had our Easter meal. The menu included ham, salad, fruit, corn casserole, scalloped potatoes, and rolls. Despite all the candy and sweet bread I had ate earlier, I still managed to have a healthy appetite for this delicious dinner. We gave thanks for our salvation and enjoyed the delicious food coupled with great discussion.
We finished up in time to go outside and watch the Easter Bunny ride by in a pickup truck. With the neighborhood Easter egg hunt canceled, those in the community still wanted to do something for the children. Although odd-looking, it was nice for Mikayla and Johnny to see yet another strangely costumed rabbit ride by.
The family gathering concluded with my mom’s famous ice cream cake. Another specialty that I had not enjoyed for years, this particular version with Cold Stone cake batter ice cream was even better than what I remembered. We all sat around the living room and continued to talk until it was time for us to prepare for Monday.
Easter Sunday might be over but the season of Easter has just started. I look forward to the weeks to come as we continue to celebrate our resurrected Lord. Don’t Blink.