Thursday, April 9, 2020

Come~~Celebrate Easter with Me

~~A Special Guest Post Written by my Mom, Debbie Roque~~

Way back yonder in the “good old days”, some of my fondest memories were at Easter. Easter was a wonderful time. Let me introduce you to a bit of my past. Now that I am “old”, my mind wanders at times into memory-lane... 😊 The good memories.

My childhood was far from perfect, but there were some lovely memories. My thoughts go back to church, Easter egg hunts, a special meal, and my new patent-leather shoes. 😊 I remember walking to the little Baptist church in my town with my three sisters and brother behind my mama. We looked like little ducklings all in a row.

My feisty five-foot mama made sure we got some church in us. It was a long walk, but I don’t remember minding it at all. There was a sweet smell in the air; everything seemed to be blooming, I remember passing all the neighborhood houses and the steeple bell ringing in the distance. How simple life was. We had our little Easter hats on, with the elastic bands and the little ribbons flying in the breeze. My little brother had his bowtie on. Almost everyone dressed their best. We believed it was irreverent not to. Easter morning was one of the most special days of the year. Some day our “EASTER MORNING” will come and oh, what a happy day that will be!

Now mind you, I didn’t always have a new pair of shoes on Easter. My mama didn’t have much money, but when she had a little extra, she’d buy us a new pair of shiny patent leather shoes, because it was a special day. I must say the excitement of new shiny shoes was exhilarating, to say the least.

I remember arriving at church, seeing people walking, smiling, coming from all different directions while the church bells were ringing. I can still hear the bells! 😊 Two of my sisters and I would sing in the little choir loft that held a handful of elderly people. Funny how fast time has flown; now I’m elderly. 😊 I would try to hide behind one of the elderly women because I was somewhat shy. I can remember sitting in the pew and seeing the sunlight streaming through the stained-glass windows. We would sing that great hymn: “Christ the Lord is Risen Today – Hallelujah!” The pastor was a sweet, jolly, somewhat-older man. He smiled and shook our hands as we walked out of the church.

And then we would start our little journey back home, skipping, hopping, and jumping, finally arriving to a delicious meal consisting of ham and lasagna. For us, it just wasn’t a holiday if you didn’t have lasagna on the table! 😊 I wonder if all Italians think that way! We would open our dime-store Easter baskets with a small package of jelly beans, a paddleball, and I think some sort of coloring book with a tiny box of crayons. We didn’t have much candy in those days, so the jelly beans were yummy even if some were the color I didn’t particularly like; I ate them just the same. I remember my aunts and uncles coming over for desserts, oh, so many Italian pastries and other wonderful sweets.

Good memories last a lifetime. Memories are good for the soul, especially the older you become, the more you ponder and reminisce, and I pity the person who doesn’t! 😊

I can remember an Easter egg hunt that took place in town at one of the schools. The older kids would hunt in the woods behind the school and the younger ones would be on the grounds. Eggs were strewn all over the grass. Prize eggs were placed in the woods and also on the grounds.

The Easter bonnet contest that took place with the hunt was so exciting. I couldn’t wait to make my hat about two weeks before. I believe the Easter bonnet hats had to be homemade. Now folks, understand my mama didn’t have much, and was somewhat preoccupied with difficulties and so I could come and go as I pleased up to a point. I was quite determined to create a “masterpiece” Easter bonnet with all kinds of odds and ends, little do-dads, pieces of paper, etc., until the hat pretty much looked like a very tall steeple on top of my head!

On the day of the hunt, my sister and I arrived at the school. I had my homemade hat all prepared. Lots of kids were there. I arrived to see such an array of beautiful hats with flowers and all kinds of creations. Different nettings, bright colors, etc. I wasn’t intimidated in the least. I wanted to win a prize. We all gathered in a huge circle and walked slowly as the judges made their decisions. I was trying very hard to hold that hat in place on my head from falling! 😊

The childlike person in me wasn’t distracted by those beautiful hats, I was really proud of my towering steeple! When my sister and I talk about it now, well over fifty years later, we start laughing and laughing. I always ask her the question, “Why didn’t you tell me my hat looked so ‘different’ from the others?” She was always the one my other sisters and I looked up to because of her maturity. Her answer is, “I don’t know; I wasn’t even thinking about it.” Then we start laughing again until our sides ache and tears run down our faces. Then when I catch my breath, I lovingly rebuke her for not telling me how comical my hat looked! 😊 Then we laugh some more. Good memories. We all have them – something to talk about as the years have passed.

Now, mind you, I did win a prize! YES! Whether the judges pitied me or not, I was the proud recipient of a box with a chocolate fruited egg in it. I was so proud of that hat and so ecstatic. The simplicity of being a child. It certainly was an “original”, and wasn’t the Lord good to me! 😊 I felt like I was in heaven with that little prize.

Now my sister left the school because they were ready to finish up the event, but I still lingered because someone said that a prize egg had been left in the woods. And so once again I was determined to find that prize egg, even though the hunt was over! 😊 I truly believed it was out there, and I think it’s still out there! 😊 😊

My sister came back to tell me to come home for supper – and why in the world was I still there? I told her that I was still looking for the prize egg. Yes, my friends, I was still searching for the prize! 😊 My sister and I laugh about that, too.

Good memories. It’s good to ponder. Lingering, pondering, just staying awhile. And so I sit here wondering what was it like when Mary Magdalene wept at the tomb of Jesus? In the Book of John, chapter 20, the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. Sometimes lingering isn’t all that bad. I lingered for a prize egg. Lingering can be a means of hope in a longing heart. With a childlike faith, knowing that the prize egg was there, I stayed behind. Hoping, lingering, watching. Do you ever wonder what it will be like when that great day, “EASTER MORNING”, will come and HOPE will become a reality and the great promise is fulfilled and you can cry, “RABBONI!”? All things will become new.

And so we wait. We wait because we know that we will indeed find what we have hoped for. And He our Hope, our Jesus, will wipe away every tear from your eyes. There will be no more death or mourning, or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away (Revelation 21:4)

And so, my friends, what good memories do you have?

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.” Psalm 62:5a
“Behold, I am coming soon!” Revelation 22:7


  1. Hi Bekki, I enjoyed this post soo much! It brought back memories of my own childhood Easter traditions. I loved Easter so much! Not for the chocolate and easter egg hunts, although I did enjoy them! ;-) but for the tradition. Even as a small child, I appreciated the tradition of things. And even though I wasn't a Believer at the time, I took in with awe, the church, filled with lilies and the cross draped in a purple cloth. Good Friday always caused me to pause and think about what God had done on the cross, even though I didn't understand it at a personal level yet. I can see here that God was patiently working in me ever since a small child.

    I miss your mom and our talks in her cozy kitchen in Rhode Island. Sweet memories. And, of course, I miss all of you!

    Please tell her I say hello and Happy Resurrection Day to all of you!

    1. Yes; I understand what you mean about traditions . . . they were and continue to be such a part of my life, too . . . <3 It's "funny" how the Lord uses these things to plant seeds in our hearts from the time that we are very young . . .

      Oh; how we miss you, too! Yes; such sweet memories!!

      I will tell her, Karen!! And Happy (belated) Resurrection Day to you all also!