|Cadbury Easter eggs|
On the Saturday before Easter Sunday, since Daniel was small, we have had a family Easter Egg Hunt. It was a complex and sometimes expensive undertaking. When we first moved out to the country, there weren't any groups or churches that did an Easter Egg Hunt, and so we resolved to try to have our own. The situation was furthur complicated by having a Type I diabetic daughter, and so we had to have a mechanism which didn't leave her feeling deprived during a holiday which usually includes sweets. The Easter Egg Hunt allowed us to celebrate the holiday while ensuring her safety, and celebrating it with our other kids as well. Originally, I got a large number of regular sized plastic Easter eggs and left them empty. Then, we would demarkate a large area usually in front of our large front yard. Then, my husband and I would hide all the eggs, in both easy and difficult places. When every one of the counted eggs we had placed was located, then each child would trade their eggs for a CD, video, or favorite candy. or sweet. Everyone had a basket and I would take pictures as the kids undertook the serious business of locating all the eggs. I remember one year, one of the eggs could not be found by any of us, and we thought our count had been off. The following weekend the hot pink plastic egg was sliced to ribbons and spread everywhere by the riding lawnmower.
As the kids grew the Easter Egg Hunt had to evolve. I eventually hid eggs in a much larger area. The older kids didn't want to continue the hunt, but Daniel always did, and so we always had the hunt. When the two older kids went to college, we incentivized the hunt by putting anywhere between 1-3 quarters in each plastic egg. (I was going to be giving them extra money while at college. Why not incorporate it into the egg hunt ?) Daniel loved this. That year he found as many eggs as his older siblings.
The first year after Daniel passed I did not want to continue the egg hunt, but I believed that we should. We felt that Daniel could see us, and that he might be pleased that we found a way to keep some of our traditions, even after his loss. The year after that, we had James with us, and James should be a part of the family traditions we have had. He seemed to enjoy the hunt, which that year was a hybrid of quarters and candy. This year Daniel if he were here, would be 16. Two of the eldest kids have long since graduated from college. One of them is in college now, but will be home this weekend. James would be just as happy to get the book "The Hunger Games" or another book by the same author. So this year, for the first time in many years, I will have candy at the house, but there will be no official family Easter Egg Hunt. Part of me is sad about this phase of our family life being over. Part of me understands that I held onto this celebration longer than we likely should have anyway, most likely stemming from a desire to hold onto every last memory and experience that relates to our time with Daniel on Earth. I don't need to do that anymore. Daniel and Dad, every little memory of each of you are indelibly burned into my memory. I will not forget just because I don't trot out the Easter baskets and the Easter grass. I know you each watch me, and keep an eye on me and everyone else. I know that you know, how much I truly love you both. I miss you Daniel. I hope you remember what a great time we all had at Easter. I know I do. I know that we understand Christ's resurrection without having to have nice clothing, Easter eggs, and our wonderful hunt. We also love you both wider than the oceans, and deeper than the seas.