Sunday, March 31, 2013

Why I don't like Easter

Yesterday I went out to my favorite spot west of town
hoping to raise my spirits
and to snap photos of several barns
that I am featuring in a seasonal progression project.

What I found dismayed me--
no, that is too mild.
I was close to tears
and angry.

Years ago, the residents of this tiny town
were told we had a green belt around our beloved homes
that would prevent any stripping or drilling of the land.

What we weren't told was that it was a flimsy piece of paper
with no legal weight
as the 'town' did not purchase the land for that green belt.
They simply declared it.

So you can imagine the shock when about 6 years ago,
a huge coal company began stripping those precious acres.
It turns out that they bought the land and thus could do what they wanted with it.
Each year they have come closer and now they are almost up to the road
that I travel for my photos.

You could barely see that tower before,
but they have cleared out around it.
In the next photos you can see some equipment.
What you can't see is the HUGE equipment
up over the far hill (my battery died)
and you can't hear the awful noise.

From what I've seen on my drives to and from school,
this equipment belongs to the gas drilling, as in fracking, companies.
I would guess that a monstrous towering well will be erected soon.
I wonder if they have to allow the tower to remain.
These guys tend to horribly tear up the land.

If the coal company owns the land,
they sell or lease it to the fracking company.
If private owners have the land,
most have succumbed to that temptation called money.

Across the way from it is this scene.
I would say they are getting ready to strip this part.

Below in the distance you can see some of the stripped land.
I couldn't get a good picture of the part that is truly ugly
and absolutely devoid of any vegetation of any kind.

This sign, in front of the above parcels of land, says it all.

So my spirits were not lifted.
Spring is still not in evidence and everything was still the dull colors of parched winter.
And the machines have arrived.

That leads me into today,
one of the two biggest days for Christians
and probably the most important, although his birth needed to happen 
for this day to eventually occur.

Today is a celebration of Jesus' resurrection,
a life changing moment for anyone who believes.
I do believe.

So why do I not like Easter?
It started 19 years ago.
It was the first Easter after the divorce 
and the first holiday without the ex-husband and I celebrating together
with the kids.
He was solidly linked up with my ex-best friend of 15 years
and would be married to her by July.

Meanwhile, my son and I dressed up and drove out 
to the little country church that my dad pastored as a retired minister.
Mom was there too of course.

But over on a side aisle were my ex-in-laws
who had followed my father to this church.
They and my parents were best friends.
Normally, we would all sit together.
Well, actually we would go to our own church 
and then meet both sets of parents at the country club
where we would eat a lovely Easter buffet together.
But when we did visit this church, we would all sit together.

My son went and sat with his grandmother.
I ended up standing in my dad's office, bawling,
while I could hear the service and esp. my dad's sermon.
It was horribly gut wrenching.

My daughter had gone with her dad.
She was attending our old church.
(That church had not reached out to me,
but instead kept close the part of the pair that had the money.)

No more seeing her all dressed up and standing by her brother.
No more hiding her Easter basket along with her brother's.
No more family get-together at the club
in which we celebrated secular Easter
after having celebrated the Christian Easter.

My son and I went to my parents house
where mom had a lovely dinner for us all.
Their hearts were breaking as was mine.

That set the tone for the years to come.
I hoped that grandchildren would change it,
but my daughter-in-law's family had precedence on Easter
and if my son and his family attended church,
it was the old church
and guess who was there?
(his dad and step-mom and her huge extended family)

I have never blamed my son for returning there.
I am thankful he goes to church and esp. that he takes his kids to church.
They are able to go much more regularly now that his non-believer ex-wife
doesn't rule every Sunday.

Plus I lived in Cincinnati.
I would come home to be with my dad 
and we would attend the church where he was a member.
(He gave up his own church after my mom died.
They had moved to a retirement campus and he had taken on a church
in Canton, Ohio.)

I have lived in my hometown now for 8 years.
My son lives a half hour away.
He and his children will be sitting with his dad and step-mom
who came up from Florida for a short visit.
I have no problem sitting with them at Christmastime
or any other time.
I go to their home.
I sit and talk and laugh with them at the grandkids' birthday parties.
I hold no resentment towards them for choosing each other.
Except on Easter,
when they not only sit in my old church
with grandkids that are part mine,
but they go out to the club 
and have an Easter buffet together.

I could go to the church here that my dad once pastored.
But I know that Easter is not the time to face the memories
of him up behind the pulpit.
Nor do I feel up to facing the little children with their parents
and/or grandparents (many of whom I went to school with).
And then there is the 'Easter outfit'.
I have none and don't want one.
So I am at home, celebrating Jesus' resurrection with my own devotions
and prayer time.

And that's why I don't like Easter.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Happened by your blog. Appreciate your honesty. You had a rough go of it intensified by ‘best friend’ issue as well as both sets of parents being close friends. In the long run forgiveness is less exhausting as resentment lasts 24/7 and continues ad infinitum, sapping your energy. Most people wouldn’t have managed the balance you have now with your ex-spouse, former best friend, and family. Kudos to you.
    Fracking is a concern. I have followed the news around our home town (your current one) and thought about the lack of zoning, etc. It’s a huge issue that people tend to minimize until it’s in their backyard. There is a lot of drilling out here in Colorado but more restrictions are being put in place by both the state and local governments. I hope something gets put in place in your area or there might me some unintended consequences.
    I also don’t enjoy Easter Sunday at church. Odd since we are active in our church and usually present. Instead we went out for breakfast and took a nice hike.

  3. I hate whats happening to the land around you. It's so sad. Your past Easters are also sad and I understand your dislike of the holiday. I was at work today and we've never made a big deal about family celebration on this day, so Bob was alone in church and afterward. He said it was a nice relaxing day!

  4. my sister has three sons, two of which moved to colorado, by their dad. their dad, who left my sister. she has to go to denver to visit, as they hardly ever come to her place. she works three different jobs, so she doesn't often get there.
    there was a grandchild, when one of the sons was in highschool, and the mother of the baby gave the child away to a couple in utah. so her only grandchild is not in her life.

    we come upon the times that have been scheduled on the calendar which are widely accepted practice to spend in a certain way, with certain people. when the practice is to spend time with family, then that only brings up all the bad feelings that on any other day would not come up.

    i think that you chose a really good way to spend some time today, and that you will be more refreshed that way. hang in there for the warmer weather and all the colour that starts to explode in the garden.

  5. I hope that posting this will be cathartic for you. I hope this will help purge your soul of the anger and resentment that you seem to be harboring. I know when I posted about being hurt by others, it seemed to lift that anger and hurt away from me. I have since deleted those posts so I would no longer dwell on them.

    There is nothing in the world better than forgiveness...both for the person who is receiving forgiveness, and even more for the person who is granting it. It lifts a load of bad emotions that rip into your inner being right out of you. But, then you have to try to forget what you were so hurt and then became angry over.You need to bury these memories. I don't know that you can ever forget, but maybe if you forgive, you could build new memories that would replace these angry feelings that are eating you alive. I am speaking out of experience here. When you nurse these angry feelings, petting them and going over them, you are hurting yourself more...not the people who hurt you. Please try to find it in your heart to not only forgive, but to go to the extreme here to put all this behind you....and replace it will good memories.

    Didn't you remarry?


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