This is a time of bittersweet for me. Over the last ten years, Easter is often the first holiday after a death; my grandmother, my father's mother and Jibril-in the same year, one right after the other-and my mother. Sometimes, it's been somber, or the mere specter of the death hangs about like the metaphoric elephant in the room that everyone knows is there, but no one wants to talk about. Once, maybe twice, there's been unspoken acceptance at what's come to pass. There's always drinks, because that's just how we roll.
In the last three years, it's been the first holiday after a birth. My nephew, so shortly after my mother's passing was the first. Not so much being used as a balm, but it certainly helped make the occasion happier than I worried it would be. This year, as of just a few days back, my niece was born, because, despite the fact there are over seven billion of us little fucking miracles on the planet, my sister and Whitie decided one more wouldn't hurt, and, after all, their genetic material is that much more superior. My father is pleased, getting his mess of grandbabies. With there being three of them now, he jokes he can get rid of my brother, sister, and I.
Perhaps, with this motif of life and death that seems to have occurred over recent Easters, one of my friends, of whom recently became born again-the first time didn't work out, although, with some of the things he's presently going through, this second time around has been less than spectacular, but that's another story-would say this is a manifestation of the legends of death and resurrection, which was made popular with various Mediterranean deities, such as Osiris and Dionysus, and has been in fashion for the last two millennia via mythological carpenter's kid name Yeshua bin Joseph. I'd argue such a theory is just an example of the Confirmation Bias. Although, to be fair, I've had my own moments of seeing omens, when it was just that psychological phenomena made manifest, thus another reason I constantly question and seek objective reality.
Looking at what it is, we'll be coming down the hill to visit my father. He's making prime rib instead of lamb-what the fuck is wrong with that man?-this year. My brother will be there, and perhaps my daughter, if she can escape her mother's family for a bit. We just might see my sister and Whitie, with my nephew and niece in tow, but we don't bet on it. There will be blues and drinks, because that's just how we roll.
I'll of course think of the dead. That's just the way of it. Those conversations I'll never get to have. Stories and memories forever lost.
There is, however, the living. Words we can still share and memories to yet to be made. It is from them that the seeds of new stories are sown, and that sweetens any lingering bitterness.