I wanted to send my best wishes everyone celebrating the holiday today. This is a difficult holiday for many due to missing members due to quarantines or, most tragically, loss of loved ones to the coronavirus. That is the case with my family but that does not mean that this Easter is a bitter one. Indeed, I will be having a special dinner with women who embody what this holiday is really about in celebrating hope even in what can seem hopeless times.
This is a terrible time for many families who have lost family members or have family in intensive care. Many families cannot hold their traditional dinners with large groups of family and friends. Like so many, our family is fractured this holiday in a way that we never imagined. We have not seen my son Benjamin for weeks because he has continued to work at D.C.’s only psychiatric hospital and does not want to expose us to the virus. Unfortunately, the decline in my mother’s health in Chicago led me to drive here a few days ago to help in her care. The rest of my family will be having Easter together in Virginia.
My mother is being cared for by four women who have refused to let the pandemic keep them from her side. Soon to be 93, my mother is now in hospice at the house. She has refused to leave her home. Growing up the daughter of a Sicilian coal miner in Ohio through difficult times from the depression to her father’s black lung, this house embodied her dreams for her family. So here she remains.
Around my mother, Angela Turley, are some of the most incredible women I have ever met: Chantia Aubert, Dawn Jones, Sharon Lester, and Laconja Welch. Every day, two leave their homes to come to help in the midst of a pandemic. Connie and her daughter Chantia decided that they would not let Easter pass uncelebrated for my mother who is a devout Catholic. They began cooking on Saturday. They created a full Easter dinner.
I doubt any dinner could hold more significance for my Mom and myself. As bad that these times have been, there are reminders of how strong and loving people can come together in a ways, great and small. Celebrating this Easter will remain one of the most memorable and meaningful holidays of my life. It shows how we can all still bring a sense of hope to each other regardless of what comes. It is the type of hope that emerges from the joining of people to celebrate the simple fact of being here, together at this moment.
Happy Easter to everyone and here is to Spring and what it brings.