Easter has been the singular holiday that has embodied the ups and downs of my life. If there is a single day that symbolically represents the best of times, and the worst of times - this is it.
I remember an Easter back ~1980 shortly after I met my wife. I was working going to Syracuse University and working at a hotel there. They had scheduled me to work the big Sunday Brunch, which was fine, but my wife's family was having an Easter cook-out that afternoon and it would be the first time I had really met her entire family.I had arranged to be able to leave at 11 so I could do both.
Well, 11 o'clock came and we were slammed. I went to the manager to tell him I was getting ready to leave. He said that we were too busy to let me go, so we could evaluate in another hour or so. My future wife was already there to pick me up and it only took a second to decide what to do. I left as planned.
I was baptized the week before Easter. The priest who I worked with to convert wanted me to do it at the Easter mass but I wasn't going to do that.
Over the course of my son's childhood Easter was about church, then brunch. We colored eggs and did Easter Egg hunts around the house. They were good, good times.
It was an Easter shortly before I left home that my wife started yelling at me that I was ripping our family apart and that she would divorce me. That was the first time my son was exposed to any of what was happening in our household at the time.
That following Easter was perhaps the lowest point in my life. It was a couple of weeks before I was scheduled to begin my transition. I was alone in my apartment, separated from my wife and son. I was uncomfortable, scared, confused, and generally in a very dangerous place. My manager, Mike, came by to bring some roasted chicken and wine for a mid-day brunch to pull me out of it. I called off my transition and went back home less than 10 days later.
Three years ago Elizabeth and I and the kids spent Easter at the White House - we had tickets to the Easter Egg Roll.
A couple of years ago I spent the morning wandering around downtown Charleston taking pictures. The city is all decked out in its springtime finery, and truly a sight to behold. It was wonderfully peaceful.
And this year - well, it was notable by being un-extraordinary. I was where I wanted to be, with the people I wanted to be with, doing what I wanted to do. In the scheme of things, that can sometimes be more special than anything.
More than any other annual milestone, this day is a reminder of the ebb and flow of life. Good times and memories, and bad ones. Hi points, and low points. Tumult, and peace. I always look forward to Easter if for no other reason than it represents Springtime.