As I sit at my desk, looking out at a grey and rainy day, it’s hard to believe spring is finally here. It feels more like a dreary November, when days are short and nights too long. But then, I remind myself today is Good Friday. Today is a special day, and it has been for many, many years.
I had a long conversation with my GP yesterday. She is a wonderful lady (I think I may have mentioned that before) and she rings me every week, to check on how I’m doing. My anxiety makes it hard for me to get to her office to see her, so she rings me; to make sure I’m okay.
Yesterday, my mood was particularly low when she rang, and I told her that even writing (the main thing that has helped with my PTSD symptoms in the past) provides little relief. I told her how all I’m really able to write are depressing poems that are totally bleak in their life view. This has always been my go-to when things are tough. I don’t know what it is about free verse poetry and depression, but they just go hand-in-hand for me.
After acknowledging these poems are written from life experiences, she suggested I think of positive life events I can write about. She asked me about any happy memories from childhood, and I drew a blank. I mean, I know I had happy moments growing up, but I just couldn’t remember. Not only happy memories, but bad ones, too. I just couldn’t remember any specifics from childhood. It’s like my mind has blocked it all out, for fear that if I remember anything (no matter how good), it might open the door to something bad. At least, that’s what I think is going on. So she reminded me of when I first met my husband and when we were married in New York. Those were the happiest times of my life. I think I will try to write about them.
The reason I’m telling you this today, though, is that our grocery shopping was delivered just now, and with it came my Easter Egg. Instantly, I remembered something happy from childhood, with no bad memories attached whatsoever.
Mum was a Christian. Dad was an atheist. Me? I’d say, after years of professing my atheism to all who would listen, I’m probably somewhere in the middle, if I’m honest. I don’t know what I believe. Like Mulder, I want to believe. I used to believe, when I was a child. But life kind of messed with that.
When I was young, Mum taught Sunday School in the church, and I loved listening to her Bible stories. My favourite was the Good Samaritan. What a great tale of helping our fellow people. After Christmas, Easter was Mum’s favourite time of year. She would read to me from books of children’s Bible stories. I vividly remember the story of Jesus touching lepers and curing them. I loved how he was not afraid to lay his hands on these people, who the rest of the world shunned. He stood up for and helped those less fortunate than him, and that made him a pretty special guy, in my young eyes. Every Easter until I was about ten, Mum read these stories to me. It was a special time. Really special.
And then, there was the Easter Egg treasure hunt. Every Easter Sunday, I would come downstairs to a series of clues Mum had carefully crafted in the weeks leading up to Easter. I loved this treasure hunt so much. Honestly, I probably enjoyed the hunt more than the chocolate eggs. And I’m a serious chocoholic! When I look back at those times, I smile. At the same time, I have a tear in my eye. There were happy moments, and they’re lost forever. I wonder what other happy times there were that I can’t remember? I wish I could. For now, though, I’ll make do with my Easter memories.
One final thing … My Mum died on Easter Saturday, 2012. It was 7th April. The vicar, who knew Mum and knew how completely selfless she was, said something that stuck with me. She said Mum’s body was ready to pass over, but she didn’t want to go on Good Friday or Easter Sunday, because she didn’t want to take any of the attention away from those special days. So she passed on the Saturday, when God had more time to take care of her. Isn’t that a lovely thought? I think so.