Monday, April 13, 2009

he loved Easter

As many of you know, my dad died this past December. Even more than Christmas, I've been missing him this Easter.

This Easter was the first Easter that I didn't spend in Regina with my family. Easter in Gatineau -in French- was very different. Not at all bad, just not at all similar to what I've known my whole life.

No service in the park. No "He is risen!" and the heartfelt "He is risen indeed" in response. No church breakfast at Karen and Adam's house. No "Up From the Grave He Arose".

No dad.

Even though Christmas is a wonderful time when we celebrate the birth of Christ, Easter -the death and resurrection of our Lord- really is THE religious holiday. Without the craziness of the Christmas season, Easter seems to offer more time to be still and reflect.

More time to reflect on what Christ did for us, giving himself as payment for our sins. Time to ponder sin and death and life and love. Time to be thankful. Time to grieve.

My memories of Easters past are full of my dad.

He loved Easter.

Fridays were always spent preparing to serve dinner at Soul's Harbour (the local soup kitchen for which he'd been spokesperson for several years), on his feet all day slicing hams, mashing potatoes, buttering buns, and serving the city's hungry. And doing a mountain of dishes.

Saturday was spent in his Lazy Boy recliner, alternating heat and massage on his cramping hands and forearms. Or napping. And watching golf.

Sunday morning was always a scramble to get everyone out of bed, dressed, bundled up and out the door for the sunrise service in the park. Every year on the same little hill. A small group of believers, most of whom had known each other for years, huddled in the often FREEZING chill air to celebrate our risen Lord. A group that maybe didn't know everyone else's secrets, but who knew each other well enough to know how much they were loved.

The love and the joy of being together on Easter morning were clear each shining, shivering face. Gathered there together, we would listen as the story of that first Easter morning was retold.

And we would sing.

My dad had a lovely, strong baritone voice.

When I think of those sunrise Easter services on that little hill in the park, I can still hear his voice ringing out above the rest.

My dad loved Easter.

At Christmas, when Liam was especially missing his grandpa, we talked about how wonderful it must be to celebrate Jesus' birthday with Jesus. Imagine the celebration! But I believe the real party must be on Easter Sunday. Easter is the culmination of the story, of God's plan to redeem this fallen world. At Easter, we celebrate Christ's victory over sin, and death having been overcome. THAT is reason to celebrate.

I'm sure that my dad is loving it and that his voice is once again being lifted up in praise for our risen lord.

(But boy, do I ever miss him.)

I first heard this song on the radio a few weeks ago. I had to pull into a parking lot to bawl my eyes out and then take a few minutes to compose myself so I could drive the rest of the way home. It's Chris Tomlin's "I Will Rise". Take a few minutes to listen.

And be blessed.

Happy Easter.


  1. Oh, Amy... I so very sorry for your loss. I did not know your dad recently past away. I'm sorry... it must be very hard, especially on this religious holiday. I hope you find comfort in your family and especially your little children and know that is watching over all of you!

    Easter is a huge event for us Greeks, too... bigger then Christmas. We are celebrating this coming weekend.

    God bless you guys.

  2. Dear Amy, Thanks for sharing your Dad with us. You have such a rich heritage from your parents and your memories are precious. I was gone from Mother and Daddy several times on Easter and I must say that is the time I was most homesick. Easter is such a wonderful time to soak up what God did for us.
    We are hoping someday that we will get to spend time with you, Peter and your darling boys. Love ya, A. Dianne

  3. One more thing-forgot to say how I loved the song! Love ya, A. Dianne

  4. Amy, I am so sorry, your dad sounds like a fantastic man, it's so understandable that you would miss him so much.

    And your heart aches for you. Your dad and your son, they are up there having a good old time, I just know it.

    Ps I live in Regina! Small world huh?

  5. Amy, thankyou for sharing your reflection and words of wisdom. The spriti of your Dad is living on through you each time you share these memories, thankyou for making us a part of it.
    God bless you all!

  6. Thank you for sharing Amy, your memories, thoughts and the song. This really is an amazing holiday, and I know your dad was part of the biggest and deepest celebration there was. Love you.

  7. What a heartfelt post! I'm so sorry about the loss of your dad!

    The song is beautiful!!

  8. Such wonderful memories of your father. I know it doesn't take away the pain, but at least you have them. They help. My father passed away 14 years ago and the memories keep us going. Take Care.

  9. Amy, I did not know that you lost your Dad recently. My thoughts are with you for this holiday. I know holidays are harder when we are not all together.

    Your Dad and your Easter celebrations in Regina sound wonderful.

  10. Amy, can I tag you for a meme that HerBadMother started? 5 things you love about being a mom?

    email me at


  11. Oh Amy.
    Thank you for sharing your heart.
    My heart breaks for you.
    I really do understand how you feel. I am missing my mom too.

    That song made me cry.
    Your words made me cry.


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