This Sunday is my Easter, well, it's Easter to most people who follow Eastern Orthodoxy. Easter was always my Grandmother's favourite holiday. As a child I remember fondly how weeks prior to the holiday the preparations would begin. In our household Easter was bigger and more important than Christmas. I suppose it all makes sense if one knows how the holidays went at my house. They didn't involve the usual gift giving type traditions, not to say we did not get a visit from Santa or the traditional Easter basket, but rather the holidays predominately centered around church and family. Which to this day I find it ironically amusing that I usually only make the semi-annual appearance at church during those two holidays.
It's been three Easters this year that she has been gone, but still each year I get a little melancholy around this holiday. Perhaps it's Sigur Ros's hypnotically haunting melodies that have sent my mind delving into it's memory banks, or perhaps it's the fact that I just plain miss her...I am finding it extremely difficult to remain the tough girl today.
One of my favourite memories of Easter with Gram go back to my college years (my first round of college). I came home one Easter on break to help Gram get the house ready for the big holiday festivities. I recall setting the table with the 'good' china and silverware which we had to unearth from the back of her very full (cluttered) china cabinet. While trying to extricate the dishes I found a crystal carafe in the back just over half full of lightly tinted liquid. I pulled it out and asked Gram what it was. I remember a devilish smile coming over her face as she took it into her hands and opened it. She took a sniff and wrinkled her nose at the potent odors emanating from this mysterious container. She handed it to me explaining that it was a hand crafted liquor that her sister and brother-in-law had made. Apparently they used to make their own grain alcohol on a regular basis. Sweet! I had no idea that I had some rum-running, moonshine making rebels in my family. [At that moment I pictured my Great Aunt and Uncle in their North Philly, two-story brownstone making this concoction in their bathtub - the thought brought a huge smile to my face]. I suggested to Gram that we try it - immediately she refused saying she attributed her excellent health to the fact that she never drank a day in her life. Me, being the persuasive person (and mild alcoholic) that I am, poured some of this magical potion into two shot glasses and handed one to Gram. After a few more sniffs and adverse expressions she finally took a sip.
Next thing I remember Gram and I were singing and giggling like two rosy-cheeked school girls. The table was set, a bit sloppily I must admit, but it was set none-the-less. The rest of the family had no idea why Gram and I were so chipper and silly at dinner that night. I think I finally told my Mom that story last year.
Definitely having a hard time being a tough girl today...