I mean, I’ve had a lot to say about Easter over the years. The last time I went to Easter, or rather “Resurrection Sunday” services, I hurt my Jewish wife so much, I swore I’d never go again. It wasn’t something she said, but the morning I was about to walk out the door to go to church, the look of hurt in her eyes was absolutely profound and devastating. Ultimately, it’s part of why I walked away from church.
I would have kept my promise, too.
But then, last May, my wife and I convinced my Mom to move from Southwestern Utah up to near where we live in Idaho. Dad died a few years back, and with Mom’s progressing dementia, we weren’t able to easily meet her needs, especially nearness to family, across a nine-and-a-half hour drive one way between Boise and St. George.
One of the things I promised Mom if she’d move up here is that I’d find a nice Lutheran Church nearby and take her to services every Sunday.
And I did.
I managed to survive Christmas somehow, but as Spring approached, I realized that my promise to Mom would conflict with my (unspoken) promise to my wife.
Then COVID-19 happened (thanks, China). Now Mom is pretty much a prisoner in her room at her independent living home. Her meals are delivered to her, but between macular degeneration and dementia, she has nothing else to do but watch television. She doesn’t have a computer (and couldn’t operate one if she had it), so no video conferencing. All we can do is phone her.
So, with the churches closed (and some local governments making it illegal to even have drive-in Easter services), I don’t have to take Mom to Easter services. With her memory deficits, I don’t know if she even realizes today is Easter Sunday.
More’s the pity.
Look, I’m sure my wife would understand if I took Mom to Easter services. Heck, the one Sunday I was pushing a (paid) writing deadline, she even volunteered to take Mom to church (which is supposed to be a no-no for a religious Jew). Although, I wouldn’t get the same benefits from Easter services (I still prefer Passover, although my wife hasn’t elected to have a Seder in our home for years), my Mom would, which is why I’d go with her.
No, I can’t and she can’t.
I realize now that with the virus being used as an
excuse reason for severely erasing limiting civil liberties, that, my personal discomfort with Easter services aside (after every Passion Play, there’s a pogrom), it’s still a privilege to celebrate the resurrection.
In the shadow of approaching totalitarianism in America (is that too dramatic?), we must still believe that He is Risen, He is Risen indeed.