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coloring eggs and memory

IMG_4435I am a preacher’s kid. So every year when Easter rolls around, I feel a certain bit of guilt if I am not in a church. I have been in Tuscaloosa for almost six years and I have yet to find what is known as a “church home.”

I am essentially one of those “once a year” folks who, feeling such guilt, roll up on the busiest day of the year for churches (aside from Christmas or New Year’s Eve, depending on how one worships).

Glad I did. I had a good day.  In fact, I was reminded of my childhood upbringing. The importance of friendship (partly owing to a cherished colleague who took me to her church. The importance, too, of being clear about where I am and who I am).

Indeed, during that part of the church service when one asks visitors to stand, for the first time I said, “My name is yadda-yadda and I’m from Tuscaloosa – via Miami, FL.”

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Beautiful white irises as a centerpiece with the eggs I received today. He is risen, indeed.

How long has it taken to say I live here? A long time. Grad school has taken me down many roads and to many cities. I arrived here right after the 2011 tornado. Tenure track hamster wheel ever since, but it’s slowly feeling like home.

But the icing on the cake – aside from being my mama’s child and seeing her happiness upon receiving a text message with a photo of me wearing not only a dress that could be construed as a “church” dress, but the straw hat she gave me last year – was Easter eggs.

Who knew. Only last night, my mother asked, “Are you coloring eggs?”

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I turned 50 this year. I paint, but I don’t do Easter eggs. But as I type, I smile. I am the daughter of a woman who does. Or at least did.

Yes, my mother was the kind of mother who made an Easter centerpiece for the dining table – even after we were too old to carry Easter baskets. On Valentine’s Day, we got something red with hearts on it. Indeed, once I got a Florida license plate with a heart on it! My car was still registered in Florida while I was in grad school and she saved me the trouble of renewing my tag by getting the plate for me. It was complete with a shout-out to anyone fighting heart disease. Just like my mother to conflate.

But back to coloring eggs…while I did not color them, I did dine in the home of a cherished colleague’s sibling who did just that. And she’s older than me. So there. She even gave me a bag of jelly beans. I promptly put them in my favorite hand-made clay jar made by a dear friend from my UChicago cohort.

Do we have to grow entirely up?

Happy Easter, All.

PS There was another bit of icing on the cake today. Visiting Stillman College’s campus – finally. I hope to return again and maybe again.

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