As a kid, I couldn’t quite understand my mom’s need to wake up at the crack of dawn on Easter to go to the sunrise service or her endless need to be at church until now that I’ve caught the same bug. I believe my mom is an example of Joy.
Here’s a quick excerpt from my third draft of It’s Not Hard to Be Superficial about my mom’s type of Joy. Character names have been changed.
Mom has a certain glow about her when she comes home from church services. It’s hard to explain. This Easter morning it’s glowing even brighter than usual. She’s woken up before dawn to go to the Sun Rise Easter Service at Forest Lawn.
Lilly and I are the first ones to wake up and mom’s already back from the service. She is sitting on the couch with a content smile on her face and tells us to search for our Easter baskets.
It feels serene and quiet in our house with everyone else sleeping. I’m still in my flannel pajamas. Lilly’s wearing her flannels too.
Every Easter since I can remember mom’s hidden our Easter baskets in the living room. Lilly and I search under chairs, inside cabinets and behind the couch. I find mine in mom’s hutch, one of my favorite pieces of her furniture.
“Here is is,” I say with glee. The purple, yellow and green basket has a purple plastic egg with some trail mix inside. In the fake pink grass are multiple colored jelly beans. A box holds a chocolate bunny. I put a pink jelly bean in my mouth and jump on the couch. Lilly’s found her basket too and is already on the left side of mom. I sit on her right side. I feel content sitting next to mom and Lilly.
“We’re going to have a wonderful Easter,” Mom tells me and Lilly.
We’re planning the same routine we’ve always done every Easter, but somehow this one feels different. I love going shopping for a new Easter dress. We bought a yellow cotton dress at JC Penny and white patent sandels from Kmart. We’ll go to the 9 a.m. church service at First United Methodist. Then we’ll go to lunch afterward at Don’s on Glenoaks Boulevard in Burbank. I usually get the grilled cheese that comes with a side of potato chips. They put a red or green ruffled toothpick in the middle of the diagonal pieces of the sandwich and the cheese oozes out the sides.
Mom’s fraternal twin sisters, Aunt Grace and Aunt Gloria, and their families will meet us at Forest Lawn to put flowers on mom’s and her sister’s parent’s grave sites. My older siblings have started grumbling about going to Forest Lawn but I like to go there. They have a huge pond with ducks and a main house that has pretty furniture in the bathroom. One day I want a home like that. There are lots of hills and grass on the drive to the grave sites. Mom’s going to make a ham for dinner.
Sitting here in the quiet of the morning, it’s like we’re all lost in our own thoughts. Somehow it feels like the weight of the last few months has lifted. I miss grandpa but I don’t feel so upset about it and I finally feel like I have a place at school. The birds are twirpping outside and a hummingbird flitters on the Bird of Paradise in front of the picture window.
Larry breaks into the room and stops the silence. Chaos resumes in the household.
“Time to get dressed.”