Christ is risen. Lent is over. I can go back to watching daytime TV and doing online jigsaw puzzles when I’m supposed to be working, except I have discovered that “The View” isn’t any good anymore and I get a lot more work done if I leave the puzzles alone. I can also eat meat on Fridays again, but I have discovered that eating fresh albacore tuna is not a punishment. I might have to go back to giving up French fries for Lent, which is truly six weeks of misery.
When you’re a church musician, Holy Week is like the week before April 15 for a tax person or the Olympics for a gymnast. So many Masses, so many songs, so many solos. One minute we were in the hall getting our palms blessed for Palm Sunday, the next we were venerating the cross on Good Friday, the next we were all dressed up singing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.” All with a minimum of sleep and not enough practice.
The rest of the world does not understand this. They schedule meetings, games, jams, and all the usual activities as if this massive event of Christ rising from the dead were not happening. Easter for most people, if they notice it at all, focuses on chocolate bunnies, egg hunts, and maybe a family get-together. Or perhaps they’ll just stay home and mow the lawn.
No lawn mowing here. It was raining.
Easter is always tainted with loss for me. My husband Fred died on Holy Saturday four years ago. It was a little later in April that year, but still, I remember getting the call during the Good Friday Mass that he was failing and the final word early the next morning that “Mr. Lick has expired.” I also found out my mother had cancer on Easter 13 years ago. Christ rose from the dead, but they did not.
As with most holidays and birthdays lately, I wound up alone. I don’t recommend it. Solo holidays invite all the demons of grief and loss to pounce. With no husband or kids, my family far away and all the friends I might have spent the afternoon with either out of town or sick, I filled the weekend with reading, movies and puzzles. I did the laundry. I walked the dog. I had a BLT for lunch, chicken for dinner. I bought myself a box of chocolate eggs filled with a mysterious substance called “fondant,” and I ate one. Delicious.
I got up this morning, walked out on the wet deck, looked up at the blue sky fighting to emerge through the clouds and said, “Thank you God, it’s over.” I’m safe till Fourth of July.
The movies, all Academy Award nominees:
Whiplash: Aspiring drummer vs. sadistic teacher. Very upsetting to watch. Just picture blood dripping on the drums. J.K. Simmons, who won the Oscar, is amazing.
Gone Girl: Wife in troubled marriage disappears, husband (Ben Affleck) is charged with her murder, but he’s innocent. Or is he? Suspenseful to the last second.
Boyhood: Patricia Arquette, who won for best actress, is divorced with two kids. We watch those kids grow up, bounce between their fun father (Ethan Hawke) and a series of drunken stepfathers until they’re adults. Pleasant enough, almost three hours long, but I’m not sure what the point is.
How was your Easter? Feel free to share.