As I’m sitting here looking at the bright colors staining my fingers from this weekend I am struck with the memories of Easters-past.
I dyed my Easter eggs Saturday as I have done for as long as I can remember, but this year there was one thing missing — my brother.
Easter has always been fun for me. Dying eggs, Easter baskets, family dinners, all aspects of it. We’re a very family-oriented group of people and we spend as many holidays together as possible.
I can recall Easters from when I was a kid. At our grandparent’s houses. My brother and I leaving notes next to our empty baskets for the Easter bunny to sign to prove he was real. I think my favorite note I got back was the year it was signed with paw prints.
That Easter bunny sure was sneaky.
My cousins, brother and I would wait up as long as we could, but we could never seem to catch him.
I also love to think about dying eggs. My brother and I, always quite inventive with our colors, became masters at dying the two-tone eggs. He was also very good at leaving that one last egg that he could dip into the cup we mixed all the colors in at the end. Even though the egg always came out a muddy, ugly brown, it always seemed to be the favorite.
It also seemed to be the hardest to find when we hid them outside. I am not surprised though, because it looked so much like the ground.
This year it was a rather quiet Easter. Dying eggs with my sister and her friend and our grandmother, a quiet, small dinner. And yes, we still had our Easter baskets, not quite the lavish things they were when we were little, but still a fun and enjoyable little basket. There was even one made up for my brother in the hopes that he’d be able to come home. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to because of job requirements. My brother, who is in the Army, currently has a full-time position on the military funeral honor guard. He was unable to come home because of the funerals he had to take part in Sunday. Almost fitting that one of the first Easters I can remember being without him and it rained all day.
Although I missed my brother terribly, Sunday I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride for him still. Being there to give such a service to the families going through such a hard thing on what is normally such a happy occasion. To me my brother truly is a hero, whether it is training, doing Judge Advocate General duties, or handing the perfectly folded flag to a grieving widow. My brother will forever in my eyes be a hero. Although I know he has a duty to his country, I hope he doesn’t have to miss to many more Easters with us, because I really need him to be here to dye eggs with me.
(Stefanie Cope is a staff writer for the Columbus Advocate. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.)