My Mom loved Easter, and not just for the stylish hats, spectator shoes and forsythia blossoms that made their spring appearance. It was truly a time of resurrection, when God made good on his promise to save the world.
In 1954, Easter fell on April 18 – almost as late in the season as this year’s. Six months earlier, Mom and Dad had lost their baby, their little girl Midge, to leukemia. Diagnosed at one year old, it had been brutal to watch Midge’s final remission end after more than two years of experimental treatments. Midge was not yet four.
When Easter arrived the following spring, Mom was big with child, and alone. The Marine Corps had delayed Dad’s solo posting to Japan as long as possible, but he was overseas as Mom faced the imminent birth of their fourth child.
It could have been a terrible time. In fact, one of the Naval medical professionals had advised Mom to abort the pregnancy, saying it would be too much for her psychologically given Midge’s terminal illness. I’d like to have seen the look Mom gave that doctor or heard her response. Never one to hold back, I am certain she gave him — and it was almost certainly a him — what for.
I imagine Mom looking out the window at the yellow forsythia, watching the earth renew itself, her hand resting on her large belly. After three pregnancies, I’m sure she knew her time was near.
Two days later, on April 20, she welcomed my brother Dean into the world. Dad said later, “It was as if the sun came out.”
Happy birthday, Dean. I know Mom is thinking of you today, and so am I.