Sunday, April 1, 2018

A Day for Rejoicing

I hate April Fool's Day.

The grown-up holding the dog's leash is my "other mother," Mrs. Bagatta.  (I'm the kid on the far right, and the other two are Mrs. B.'s actual daughters. Judging by our hair, I'm guessing this picture was taken in 1988.)  We grew up across the street from each other, and we girls lived in each others' houses.

I am convinced the woman could save the world and patch up all its arguments with a stick of butter.  Whenever there were kid squabbles, she'd call to borrow a stick of butter and send a daughter for it, forcing kids to interact.  By the time the butter made it from fridge to the door, friendships were fixed, and all was right with the neighborhood.

On April 1, 1992, God called Mrs. B home to Him.  Worst April Fool's joke EVER.  It's not funny.  At all.

Since then, 26 Easter Sundays have come and gone.  We've had some close to April 1st, but never on April 1.  But this year, Easter Sunday falls on the anniversary of her death.  I'll grant you that Easter has a 33-date span that it can land on, but I was thinking about how it took so long for her home-going day to coincide with Resurrection Day. 

It's been a long time marking April 1st as a day of sadness.  Sure, we know on Easter we celebrate the risen Jesus and the hope of our own resurrections, but it's hard to remember that hope on the days that leave you feeling at the bottom of the pit.  But this year, how can I be sad? We're celebrating the Resurrection! It's the day to sing of the triumph over death, and only by dying can we enter Eternal Life.

Today, I will rejoice in the Resurrection and the promise of eternal life for those who have gone before, especially Mrs. Bagatta.  I am reassured that I will see her in heaven one day.  I'll even bring the butter. 

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