Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Reality

White Oak Sinks - GSMNP
April 18, 2011

Easter Sunday has come and gone allowing our family to put another of those "firsts" behind us since the death of Mr. B's dad last fall.  Thanksgiving and Easter are the two holidays which have always been celebrated at their home with a large crowd.  You might recall that we moved Thanksgiving dinner to our home this past year, but when asked, MIL was adamant that Easter would remain the way it had always been.  Except that, of course, it wasn't!!  Something very important was missing and we all felt it keenly.  

Mr. B and I met while in college, but had both grown up in towns close by and so were able to introduce our parents to each other once we realized we might be "forever."  Our parents hit it off immediately and have remained friends to this day.  Having both sets of parents at a single holiday celebration makes life much easier for Mr. B and me!!  It was my very shy dad who had the most difficulty yesterday as Easter was the traditional baseball watching afternoon for he and FIL.  Once dinner was over, they'd migrate to the den for an afternoon of watching the Braves while the rest of us sat outside or in the living room.  My dad looked pitiful sitting in the den alone.  I couldn't even go in there and Mr. B tried several times.  He said daddy would just look up at him with pitiful eyes and say, "this doesn't feel right" or "I sure do miss him."  

Having said all that, our entire family believes that FIL is celebrating with our risen Lord in a way none of us can comprehend until we we there ourselves. I hope all of you have that same assurance.  That is what Easter Sunday is all about!

The other side of the story is this.  My FIL had some quirks that although charming and funny at first always became irritating and tiresome after several hours. We are slowly realizing how his behavior impacted our family gatherings in ways we didn't comprehend until now.  Yesterday's gathering was calm, relaxing, enjoyable and people stayed longer than I can ever remember.  Driving back to our home, we discussed how FIL had such a way of keeping things stirred up with his joking, picking, taunting and silliness that people were never able to fully relax and therefore, always seemed to go home earlier.   Yesterday stories could be told to completion without his interruption, laughter could go on without him running from the den and having to get into the middle of it and a few moments of quiet could ensue without his feeling the need to act silly or tell a joke.  

We wouldn't change the years we had for all the world, but this is our new reality and we like the way it looks!  

Since 2006, when I originally lost 60+ pounds, Easter has been a day I have dreaded because of the DINNER and those feelings have always been difficult for me to process because, for the Christian, Easter should be a day filled with anticipation, celebration and pure JOY!  And I've missed much of that by allowing the very thing which I began this new year vowing would be different, to define my day.  So on this Easter day, I refused to ALLOW FOOD TO CONTROL ME.  Instead, I WAS IN TOTAL CONTROL OF MY FOOD!  I ate just enough chicken and dumplings to satisfy MIL's eagle eye and just enough butterscotch/marshmellow cookie to satisfy my mother's eagle eye!  This morning brought a .4 pound gain and today will most likely involve some carb cravings, but I've got a full day planned with lots of activity to help me forget the cravings.  

In the quiet of my own home last night, I went back over the day and realized how much my life has changed since last Easter.  My losses (my sweet FIL), although painful, have brought new gains I couldn't possibly have known.   My gains (pounds I'm still struggling to lose), have brought losses for which I'm grateful!  Both the gains and the losses come in the form of deeper relationships with others and a calmer relationship with myself.  It is less about food and much more about an abundant life!  I am so thankful! 

This post could not end without thanking YOU, my Blog Friends.  It is you who have listened as things have come out through my fingers that would've never seen the light of day in conversations with others in my REAL world.  I'm approaching my first BlogAversary and when settling on the name of my blog, I had absolutely no CLUE how much I truly would gain or the losses I would shed that could never be measured by a number on a scale.

I hope your Easter was as precious as mine!! 


  1. I'm glad you had a good holiday, Sharon. Albeit a bit bittersweet without FIL there. I want to share my own gain - having found you out here in the blogworld. You are wise and honest and supportive.

  2. We had the family at my house, I'm planning a blog post about the changes I've experienced over the last two years. They are nothing as profound as yours.

    I learned to hate the words "new normal" after my own father died. I didn't want a new normal. I wanted my old normal that included him. Holiday gatherings were the hardest, but in time we reshaped them and we enjoy our time together again. Much like you are doing now. You are doing well, working through your grief.

  3. Happy Easter to you, Sharon! In the Netherlands there are always two days of Easter, so happy wishes for the second day of Easter sent your way from MN!

    As I read your post I was struck by the deep ruminating that you have done in regards to your losses and gains. It does take a certain distance in time after a loss to process that loss but also to begin to see more clearly a different future without that person. As Karen said above, it is bittersweet. The sweetness comes with your own recognition that holiday events will still be good and perhaps lighter all the way around.

    I as one of the blogging community members have gained much from you, too. Your adage about the food not controlling you is profound and deeply resonating with me. In short, I gain varied perspectives each and every time I read your posts that give me nuggets to chew on throughout my day. I am genuinely appreciative of your support and do not take it for granted. michele

  4. Sounds like a nice Easter, Sharon. I spent some quiet time looking back, too, and I like where I am now, and have made peace with a couple of things during the past year. I decided if they are not going to change, I can leave them alone. Easily said, difficult to do.

    I have gained your friendship during the past year, and I am grateful for that. You help me to see things in a different light. So "thanks."

  5. I like that it sounds like you are making peace with food, Sharon. I enjoyed this post.

  6. All of those "firsts" can be so difficult when you've lost a loved one. When we went through it we also found the missing jokes etc. weren't so missed - although other things were. The adjustments weren't easy but we're on year 21 this year. Amazing.
    Glad you had a good Easter - and that you were in control with your eating. It's nice to look back and see positive progress, isn't it?

  7. "First" holidays can be so difficult, but there's also joy in finding and creating new traditions. I'm glad your family had such a lovely visit!

  8. What a beautifully written post with so much insight. You have gained a wealth of knowledge since I have been reading your blog and I too have learned much from you.

    God Bless.

  9. Hi Sharon,

    Easter really seems to mean even more when there is a loss of a loved one, doesn't it? I enjoyed reading this post and I really love your positive outlook you give. We can always see a positive side to anything and it is wonderful to be around those who do that and set that example. Yay for being in control of your food and enjoying the day!


  10. I like the reality of your words - remembering someone you loved and miss, yet being able to be honest too, it makes your blog seem so real.
    I'm new to your blog but will follow along now