Friday, April 10, 2015

M&M's, Easter and Remembering Grandma

One of my earliest memories of my grandparents is when they were left to babysit me and my younger siblings.  I was probably six or seven- the oldest- and I was aware that the evening's routine was far more relaxed than if my parent's had been there.  I remember watching movies, playing cards and no clearly defined bedtime.

However, the most incredible moment of the night was when we were in the middle of a card game and my grandma turned to my grandpa and said, "Jack, I could really go for some chocolate right now."  I may or may not have tried to find some cookies in the kitchen- but clearly that was not what Grandma wanted.  Grandma wanted candy.

To my amazement, my grandfather drove to the grocery store and picked up both peanut AND chocolate m&m's.  After dark.  When we didn't need anything practical like milk or bread.  "Your Grandfather, he's such a good man."  Grandma explained.  When he returned, they brought both bags into the living room, where we ate them on the floor.  I wasn't even told how many I could have.

Tonight, when I was driving to the grocery store to get cream for my coffee, I thought about this moment with my grandparents.  It's such a great memory- a memory of my Grandfather loving my Grandmother (and his grandkids) enough to go to the store after dark.  A memory of breaking rules about bedtime and eating much candy as I wanted to- and not even having to sit at the kitchen table.  A great memory.

Tomorrow will have been one year since my Grandma died.  So it seemed only fitting that I pick up a bag of m&m's when I got to the store.  Losing Grandma remains one of the most wrenching moments of my life.  Losing Grandma before she had a chance to see the amazing wedding dress I found (on sale- as she had always taught me to shop) and sit in the front row (her space) when I (finally) walked down the aisle (after her many novenas that I would discern my vocation)  was a devastating plot twist in a year that had started out like a fairytale.

But tonight- a year later- I'm sitting here, eating m&m's and thinking about how the resurrection of Christ that we celebrated last week means that I have hope.  Hope that Grandma and Grandpa are together again.  Hope that I'll see them one day, too.  Hope that, united in the mystical body of Christ that transcends what I'm able to see with my eyes, Grandma is praying for me and my family even though we still miss her an awful lot.

"Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55)

Don't get me wrong.  The sting is there.  It's so, so there sometimes.  But it's less than it was a year ago, six months ago, six weeks ago.  And today, as I'm sitting here eating m&m's, I'm realizing that the sting isn't less because I forget.  It's less because I hope.

So Alleluia.  He has risen, and that changes everything.

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