My view from Saturday

My view from Saturday

It’s Holy Week, and today we’re on the bridge between Good Friday, the day Christians commemorate Christ’s crucifixion, and Easter Sunday, when they celebrate his resurrection.

I love the rhythms of the church calendar. But on a Good Friday nine years ago, we welcomed our daughter into the world, just before noon, putting an end to (or at least granting a respite from) an incredibly hard season. Her new little life crowded out the fear of death we’d been living under.

It felt like a resurrection.

But it didn’t happen on Easter. It happened on Friday.

As a Christian, I remembered Christ’s death yesterday. But I also remembered the overwhelming joy of sweet, glorious new life.

I’m sure I’m not the only one overwhelmed by contradiction on our church’s–and our culture’s–big days. My sweet neighbors got married in 1961. They celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary–a day that they say had always meant nothing but happiness to them–on the day that we now know as 9/11.

Our daughter’s birth, my neighbor’s marriage: they remind me to allow people their joy and their pain, even when they seem out of step with the rest of us. I’m betting it’s more prevalent at Christmas than at Easter, but I’m certain it happens every day of the year.

Happy Easter, friends, wherever–and however–you are.

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10 comments

  1. Anne says:

    Lovely, Anne. A prayer for all who are experiencing the contradiction this year. My mother in law was buried during Holy Week two years ago.

    We attend Vigil tonight, the traditional night of receiving people into the Catholic Church, and my father will be one of them! Happy Easter.

  2. Anne, I love this! And I experience this in my own family. My maternal grandfather died on Thanksgiving Day when my mom was 18. We always celebrate Thanksgiving with her family, to be together and remember and celebrate–and pass the memories of my grandpa on to my generation, since we never knew him.

    The title of this post really caught my eye because I love the book “The View from Saturday” by E. L. Konigsburg. That was one of my favorites when I was younger for several reasons and has stayed with me. 🙂

    A blessed Easter to you and your family!

  3. Tim says:

    I’ve started and deleted this comment five times, Anne, trying to add five different thoughts in response to your post. I can’t get any of them out right. So I’ll just say thanks for your reflection on this Saturday between Good Friday and Easter.

  4. Jeannie says:

    “In the midst of life, we are in death.” And the opposite is true as well. Thanks for sharing this very real paradox, Anne — and for reminding us to allow others and ourselves permission to be out of step with the calendar. A blessed Easter to you and yours!

  5. Heather says:

    My grandmother passed away at 94 early morning on Mother’s Day in 2006. She had been living with my parents, and our family had also moved in 9 months earlier to help with caregiving for her and my dad. Mom found her that morning in her bed and came and got me. So that was our Mother’s Day. Thankfully, she died peacefully and was ready to go, but I always remember my grandmother’s death first and foremost on Mother’s Day.

  6. sarah k says:

    Thank you, Anne–this resonates with me deeply. Last Easter our fourth baby was kicking happily inside me while I knew that he was under a sentence of death. We went to church and I sat and listened while people sang the songs I have loved every Easter of my life, and I wondered if there would be a resurrection and a miracle in my life. There wasn’t; this Easter our son has a grave and a headstone.

    This Easter we also have a new baby girl, brought to us through the beautiful gift of adoption. I am delighted to have her and I love her in exactly the same way that I love all my children; I am so glad she is here for Easter. And at the same time I grieve for her lost brother. It’s a messy tangle of emotions, and I imagine it won’t ever be sorted out. These holy days are complicated, and I wonder if they maybe get more complicated as we get older, and live more and lose more, so that on a day like Easter we are reminded both of new life that has refreshed us and of all that we are still waiting to see made right, and maybe it becomes a happy and heart-rending day all at once. I don’t know. But thank you, thank you, for speaking about the in-between that is so hard to put words to.

  7. My mom’s little brother died right at Christmas one year, when he was 5 and she was 11. I think she was 45 before she really started enjoying Christmas again. It is hard, to be told how we should feel during a holiday when there are markers in our own lives that also dictate emotions.

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