For as long as I can remember, Easter in our house did not mean Easter baskets (we didn’t get them, much to our dismay at the time – but we did do a jelly bean hunt in the living room). More than the jelly beans, though, Easter meant pysanky eggs from Bingie, our mom’s mom.
A pysanka is a traditional Ukrainian Easter egg, decorated with folk designs written in beeswax. From my birth until a few years ago, my grandmother painstakingly made all of her grandchildren a new design each year, and we loved to look at our collection when we took them out of their crates in the spring. Each egg was marked with our name or initials, her initials, and the year. She also made them for special friends on occasion, and over time, they became one of her claims to fame in her small town.
At her memorial service last year, her pastor compared her to one of her eggs – beautiful and complicated, full of history and stories, and sometimes volatile. (The eggs, which are not blown out, have been known to explode!) My grandmother was a deeply layered person, and not always easy to understand. But so many of the things that define me were passed down from her – my love of garden bouquets, boat rides, singing in church, and books; a belief in thank you notes, penmanship, and family china; and the importance of standing up for the flag at parades and giving to your alma mater. I am glad I have something tangible and so beautiful to remember her by, especially at Easter.
The worst thing is never the last thing, friends. Wishing you a joyful weekend!