Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter: Marys

I'm taking some liberties here.  My first name really is Mary.  No one calls me that (except doctors and people at the BMV), but it does give me some affinity with my favorite woman in the Bible.

Here I am, Easter morning 1960.  My mother went all-out to host an Easter-egg hunt for my first-grade classmates in Vero Beach, Florida. We were about to move from our little rented cottage to the house my dad had (literally) built for us, a few blocks from the beach, but we had a big yard in the meantime.  I have a couple of clear memories of my consultations with my mother that spring, over the decor for the first bedroom that I would have all to myself and over the details of my Easter party. The former involved seashells and fishnets; the latter, prize eggs wrapped in gold and silver foil.

Things change.  Mothers die before bedrooms can be finished, and brothers, and sons.  Oh yes, sons.  You might think I would have forged a friendship with Mary, the mother of Jesus ~ and in fact I have been doing so, very slowly.  

But the person I am mostly likely to have been friends with had I been alive on Easter morning in the year 30 is this one, Mary Magdalene.  The kind of woman who goes off to investigate a cemetery early in the day. Heartbroken, curious, vocal, determined.  "Perseverance" is a word that has been mentioned in my own case.  For a long time, I didn't care.  But now I hope it applies.

Hope.  Risen.  Victory.  Life.  Amen.


  1. I really hope that one day I get to hear you preach a sermon.

  2. Such a sad post - it causes my heart to skip and my breath to catch when I remember your mother and brother were gone where you were so young.

    I agree that you would be Mary Magdalene visiting the cemetary at sunrise. I have walked there with you and used to frequently walk in an old cemetary here. I posted a pic on FB today that is probably from the same Easter - if my math is correct - 1963?

    As always, thank you for writing this beautiful blog that always makes me think.

  3. Wait a minute - that couldn't have been 1960 - could it? I didn't think you were in 1st grade until later.

  4. Robin -

    I've been slow to a friendship/kinship with Mary the Mother of Jesus as well. She was presented to me as so perfect, so blessed, so heavenly I never felt she was approachable.

    Then I had a child.

    So for the next many years (decades) I have grown a friendship. A kinship, with her. Opened up just a bit. What could we have in common? How could we relate?

    Every time I read your blog I get closer to her in my own prayers, because you so beautifully show what that same kind of forthright, strong and loving motherhood is like.

    And I find that there is a place for me.

    Was your mom's car accident near Easter? I send you some deep love .... just because.

  5. So glad there are glimmers of hope now...MM is one of my role models as well. Prayers continue and I'd appreciate yours as I take on this year's pedophile priest case--details at my chapel blog

  6. Hmmmm . . . I saw that as a hugely hopeful post.

    A matter of perspective, I suppose?

    Cindy, my mother and brother were killed the following October, back in Ohio where we lived most of the time.