An Easter Wish…

Easter egg hunts

This Easter brings with it memories of celebrations past and hopes of an extra special holiday this year.

Growing up, my entire extended family would gather together at my parent’s house and we would have a wonderful lunch.  My mom was in charge of the food while my dad was in charge of the Easter egg hunt.

My dad had so much fun hiding the eggs and would cheer us on as we would frantically search for the eggs.  Even as teenagers, we would still participate in the annual family Easter egg hunt.

When I grew up and had children, my dad would hide the eggs for them too.  

I have also been blessed to spend Easter with my in-laws each year.  My kids would also have fun having Easter egg hunts with them as well.

My two daughters and my son searching for the elusive Easter eggs

My two daughters and my son searching for the elusive Easter eggs.

The Easter, above, was especially memorable because it was my son’s first Easter celebration.  We had just adopted him from China and he couldn’t really walk, so he crawled around to get his Easter eggs.  (He has corrective surgery soon after).

Easter egg hunt

The next Easter, he could not only walk, but run with his new braces helping him.

Each year, we spend the Saturday before Easter going on a huge Easter egg hunt, which is put on by the adult community where my in-laws live.  

Easter egg hunt

It is always crowded and crazy and the kids just love it – so do my in-laws.

The next day (Easter) is spent with my family, after church is over.  The kids get to enjoy the annual Easter egg hunt, that my dad would organize.

The Easter celebration pictured below, is somewhat bittersweet to me.

Easter egg hunt
Easter egg hunt

You see, it is the last one that I got to spend with my dad.

He and my mother had just moved to Arizona from California one month earlier and they were so excited to host Easter at their new house.

 family and friends

It was fun to hang out with family and friends.  My nephew was just 4 months old and my oldest daughter was newly engaged.

Sadly, my dad passed away suddenly just 5 weeks later from bacterial meningitis.  This is one of the last photos that was taken of him.

Four years later, I still miss him and I always think of how special he made the Easter egg hunts.  My husband and the other men of the family have picked up where he left off and hide the eggs for the new generation of kids on Easter Sunday.

This Saturday, I will spend Easter with my in-laws as usual and the kids are very excited about the huge Easter egg hunt at their community.

But this Easter brings sadness with it too.  Some of you may remember me mentioning that my father-in-law is battling ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).  I guess I shouldn’t say ‘battling’ because there is no cure and it is moving awfully fast.

He has lost his ability to speak, breathing is getting harder, muscle weakness and difficulty eating has made a feeding tube necessary.

I truly hate this horrible disease.  But, it cannot take away the wonderful memories we have of our past Easter holidays with him and our ability to celebrate it with him this year.

Easter egg hunts

My wish is that we will be grateful for the time we still have with him and that the memories that we will take from this special day will bring a smile to our face when he is gone.

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
11 replies
  1. Rohrerbot
    Rohrerbot says:

    Enjoy every moment while it lasts. The hardest thing in life is letting go and also saying good-bye to the people you love. During family holidays and traditions all of this is intensified, but the wonderful part is that you continue those traditions that will be passed onto your children and their grandchildren….and the most important part of all is that you honor your father's memory and continue something that he felt was important for his family. And that's beautiful. Happy Easter and have lots of fun! I'm sure you have a lot of eggs from the chickens:)

  2. Lona
    Lona says:

    It is wonderful to have great Easter memories and to pass those same memories on to your children to make them wonderful memories in turn. Have a Blessed Easter.

  3. FlowerLady
    FlowerLady says:

    Love and hugs to you and your family Noelle. May all those loving memories fill your heart with love and peace. You are blessed to have those memories locked in your hearts.

    Have a lovely Easter ~ FlowerLady

  4. Balisha
    Balisha says:

    Holidays can be so bittersweet. Just hold the wonderful memories that you have and are making in your heart…Easter blessings to you and your family.
    Wish your trip would bring you to No. Illinois…maybe we could meet..

  5. Bangchik and Kakdah
    Bangchik and Kakdah says:

    Losing someone we love is painful… but memories span over generations, and the men took over what your late dad had left, over Easter Egg Hunt is a testimony to that…. Cheers.

  6. jayneonweedstreet
    jayneonweedstreet says:

    Thank you for sharing your Easter thoughts with us. You have a beautiful view of life and it is especially touching to me as I just lost my Dad on Valentines Day after a two year long battle with Parkinsons and ALzheimers. ENjoy the blissful happy moments as they temper the difficult ones!

  7. Bluiedprincess
    Bluiedprincess says:

    I just ran across your blog as of last week and this was the first update I received after subscribing. There must be a reason. I lost my step dad to ALS just a few short years ago and I know what you are dealing with. Your words could have been my own. Sadly, he never got to see his three new grandchildren which he would have absolutely loved to pieces. I'm thankful your father in law has gotten a chance to get to know your kids and be in their lives. Thank you for such honesty. It's the common bond that brings people together and reminds us we aren't alone in these difficult times. My prayers go out to you and your family.

  8. Candy "Sweetstuff"
    Candy "Sweetstuff" says:

    I know that your wish will come true Noelle. I am sorry to hear about your father passing away so suddenly. That must have been very hard. Now your father in law. My father in law had PLS which is a lot like ALS it just takes longer. He had it for 20 years and just passed away on 2/10. Four days before his birthday on Valentines day.

    Holidays can be hard but we need to remember the wonderful and happy times that we have had together.

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