|Amazing Grace - An...|
(You must click on the esnip song to get the full benefit of this post...then begin reading. It's what my mother would have wanted! LOL)
I haven't always been a "heeth-ern"...that's PTW (poor white trash) talk for "heathen". As a matter of fact, I grew up in the Church of Christ. That would be the "be dipped or be damned" Church of Christ!
Eastertime was always one of those oddly special religious holidays in my home. I have photos of many Easters filled with baskets of candy and dyed Easter eggs...I am smiling in most of these shots, but too young to recall them, so I can only imagine Easter was a "good thing".
Every year, my mother (Peggy...I fondly call her "Peg" now because we were not allowed to shorten her name growing up!) would purchase an Easter Lily for herself and for my grandma, Goldie (mother's mother). It was a tradition. When I finally grew wings and moved away from home later in life, I became the lily bearer, sending my mother and my grandmother these beautiful flowers from afar.
My mother was not a religious woman, but I never really appreciated her "spirituality" until much later in life. Growing up, she was the "go to church" enforcer...making sure her girls attended Sunday School, Bible School, and any other religious activity at the church. I didn't much like having to wake up early on a Sunday morning, dress in "Sunday-go-to-meeting" clothes, and hang out at the church until my sister came to retrieve me and take me home.
In my teens, my aversion to church changed somewhat...religion (i.e., Christianity) gave me a purpose and some sort of meaning in a tumultuous adolescent life. When Easter Sunday rolled around, I was the first out of bed before sunrise to attend my church's sunrise service. The congregation (or at least the early risers and weather-braving souls) would meet at the church and drive to a local pasture to hold service as the sun peeked over the Nebraska plains. Often the wind and cold of the early morning would prevent us from standing in the prairie grass too long...but it was STILL a beautiful time all the same.
My mother loved to play her Anne Murray and Elvis Presley cassette tapes on Easter Sunday, while she stood in her kitchen preparing a feast for our family and any extended family or friends who wanted to eat at our house. I recall these Easters with great fondness. Mother would be in her kitchen singing along with the music, baking bread, frying chicken, and turning our dyed eggs into potato salad. We often begged her not to sing (as all kids do), but she belted out her tunes all the same.
Her favorite hymn of all time was "Amazing Grace"...I actually found (believe it or not!) a copy of Anne Murray singing this song on the Internet...when I heard the song playing back today, I was immediately taken back to a time in my life when, just for one day, all seemed right in the world...on Easter Sunday, all WAS right in the world. My mother was happily singing and cooking, doing two of the things that brought her joy.
I have long since traded many of the original traditions I grew up with into something more "workable" for my own beliefs now...but when I heard this song today, I was immediately reminded of my mother and a time when religion and spirituality seemed so "pure"...a time in my life when I didn't know any different and that was all OK...