This is one of those days that feels so close to last year on the same holiday. Like time is not a line but a spiral and so this day and this day last year are right next to each other- but on a different plane- so out of reach.
Last year on the Saturday before Easter, we took Audrey on a little egg hunt some parents threw down the river near their complex. It was casual, we all brought eggs filled with goodies and hid them around a small courtyard. Someone brought coffee and donuts. The kids were mostly around 18 months so they didn’t quite get the idea yet, but we helped them along. I took photos while you walked around the courtyard with Audrey and her little basket. It was the first time I introduced you to my “mommy friends” that I’d made at the library class since we’d moved here. You had coffee. You peeled a clementine for Audrey after the egg hunt. We went to the A&P in that complex right afterwards. You video-taped Audrey looking at the flowers and pointing out the different colors while I shopped. I know I bought kale because I was into kale chips at that time. Then we loaded up the car just before it started to drizzle. We were happy that day- it felt productive- an egg hunt and food shopping done by noon. In the evening we colored Easter eggs- I gave you the task of coloring them, which you happily did. I gave you a white crayon to write things on before coloring them and after the colors dried, I saw that you had written little notes like, “Appa loves Audrey” and “Daddy loves mommy” along with little flowers and hearts.
On Easter morning, I set out the wooden basket I’d carefully chosen for Audrey’s first Easter basket and hid the plastic eggs I’d gotten. I filled some of them with gummy bunnies and some with bunny grahams. It was your idea to fill the remaining eggs with little strips of paper with similar phrases to those you’d written on the eggs. “Daddy and mommy love Audrey.” “God loves you Audrey” and when she opened those you read them to her. I wish I had saved those little strips of paper in your handwriting.
We went to church- you were glad I’d talked you into saying “no” when they asked you to play at the Easter service. You knew it’d be too much for you. After church, we went to my parents and Audrey ran around in the backyard- there is a picture of her running into your arms. She is wearing a blue and white dress you picked out for her at the Gap with one pink hair clip holding back her wispy baby hairs. I couldn’t get over how perfect she looked that day. Then she took a surprisingly long nap.
This was all just one year ago.
Things are so very different now. I plant seeds with Audrey today inside on the kitchen floor in containers I bought- sweet pea flowers. In the afternoon, we color our eggs- but first we look through some photos that show the day above last year- the egg hunt with you, you and Audrey at the kitchen table coloring eggs. I want her to remember and I want to try to grasp it- but yet again- I can not.
You’re kind of like a celebrity around here now. I always feel like fame and celebrities have this aspect of faith about them- we know they’re out there and we see lots of picture of them, but the thing that makes a celebrity sighting- on the streets of NYC or elsewhere- so exciting- is that for that moment- you find out that they really do exist. Wow- there they are- their hair really does look like that- or they’re not as pretty in person. But yes- their plane has intersected yours for just a flash. It’s kind of like that with you now- except in reverse i think- because I see lots of photos of you, and I know that I’m always walking in your footsteps, and feel really privileged that you chose me and lived here with me each day and slept beside me each night. And I’ve seen you- and now I must have faith that you’re still out there- that you’re real, and that one day- I’ll spot you again.