I am so grateful for my parents and their deep faith, they would share what Easter meant to them, what having faith 'looked' like to them. Mom shared with us that to her Easter meant that we could have hope. There was this horrible chain of events and on Easter morning, hope was born. I don't know that I felt the magnitude of her story until adulthood. Only when I was weathering storms could I fully embrace the thought that there may be hope. Dad shared with us that by being good neighbors, by treating people with dignity even if we didn't think they deserved it, helped us understand what Christ-like meant, we can't be the judge, we don't know what someone is going through or what pain they may be in. These are the gifts that lead me through life, to have hope, to be kind, and to be curious! The lesson that both Mom and Dad instilled in us happened when we were in nature. They gifted us the idea that we are all One, the Earth, the plants, animals, water, sky, Sun, and neighbors, we are ALL ONE. They taught us how to make moments sacred, to ask for permission to enter spaces, and to witness life happening all around. I think that is why those nature Easters mean so much to me.
There was no surprise that the urge to visit the Grand Canyon came up this weekend. I have been nervous about packing Liam, with his feeding pump, tubes, health, etc., I have let there be excuse after excuse of why the time wasn't right to dip off the edge of the Canyon. Well, now was the time! We packed water, food, formula, the feeding pump, diapers, sunscreen, and off we went. There was a loose goal in mind, Cedar Ridge, on the South Kaibab trail, 1 1/2 miles. I type that and giggle, 1 1/2 miles, what!?!? That is a walk in the park, anywhere else! In the Canyon, that is 1 1/2 miles straight down and 1 1/2 miles straight up. The seduction of the downhill is almost overpowering, thank goodness for the many years of hiking the trail, I knew not to get sucked in.
Liam is growing so fast and changing everyday! Thursday he made his first free handed steps to the couch. He is problem solving and finding ways to maneuver things...and people so he can get where he wants. To blow off steam he makes a loop in the living room with a pink chair as his guide. He is learning a new 'face', he got tired of winking, so now he has an exaggerated blink. On the trail he kept one hand out so he could wave at all the hikers we passed. I only knew he had fallen asleep because people stopped saying hello. He is gaining more babble words, when Sean is home the two of them can go on for what seems likes hours! With me, he is quieter, we think because he has had so many experiences of being with me in groups of people, he has associated me with quiet. He is still attempting to eat, frozen food, milk, or juice are his favorite. I can't wait until next year when Liam may be more interested dying eggs, finding them, and more aware of what is happening around him.
I am caught off guard in the moments I miss my mom so much and her vacancy is felt so acutely. I have a beautiful hand made vile with ashes of my mom, she came to the Canyon with us this weekend. In the moments I miss her the most, there she is helping me to remember to turn to Hope. She was there nudging me up the trail with her grandson on my back. I am sad she won't get to hike Liam in the Canyon, and yet I know, she will be there every time he goes in. Just like she was there with me as I picked out 'healthy' chocolate for Sean for his Easter basket and will be there next year for Liam's basket. She will be with us next year as I get ready to teach Liam how to dye eggs and remembering all the ways she decorated eggs, there were so many I will have a hard time choosing what is first! She is here every time I need encouragement reminding me that Easter, and Christ are all about Hope. Through the stories we share about her, she lives on, what a gift.