The approach of Easter has me missing my Mom. I think Easter was her favorite holiday. We would each get new outfits. My sisters and I would get spring coats and hats, of course, and white cotton gloves to wear to church. The dining room table would be filled with eight Easter baskets, one for each of us; each containing a large chocolate bunny and the requisite plastic Easter grass.
As teenagers, Mom would drag us to sunrise service which was held at a local park. Too chilly at that hour, our pastel Easter clothes were always hidden by our dark, winter coats. While the outdoor mass was being held, park employees were busily preparing the best breakfast in my memory, all of which was cooked outdoors. The aromas were distracting.
Dinner always, always, consisted of a ham, scalloped potatoes, and asparagus. She would painstakingly press cloves into the outside of the ham, which we would then have to pick off on our plate. (I never saw whole cloves used for any other purpose.) When Mom was no longer able to prepare the Easter meal, I always ensured there was a ham on her table. I don’t know what my family will be up to this Easter. Despite the fact that my daughter is a vegan and we don’t have any specific dinner plans, I feel pretty sure there will be ham involved.