Off the Line: Thanks for the memories

If you are reading this paper the day it hit the streets, then it is Thursday, the day before Good Friday.

If you are reading this paper the day it hit the streets, then it is Thursday, the day before Good Friday. And if you are the parent of youngchildren you are likely feeling the relentless building of excitement as your over-the-moon-excited kids dream about eating chocolate andEaster goodies until their seams split. Some things never change no matter how old you get. But now, instead of having to hunt thoseelusive hidden little, delectable pearls, I can simply go to the store and buy as much as I want.

Naturally, being an adult who is in fair control of her impulses, I don’t do that, but age and maturity don’t stop me from being a kid at heart,especially as I remember those simple years when I didn’t have to worry about chocolate going straight to my hips. No siree, all I had toworry about was a rebellion from my stomach as it protested the gorging of candy and chocolate by a greedy little girl.

Believe it or not, I miss those days. Not for the candy, but for the warm memories it evokes of days unencumbered by adult worries andresponsibilities.

Holidays were always special at our house. Even though we didn’t have much money, mom and dad always found a way to celebrate andmake those special days special. Special enough that the mere thought of them can still bring tears to my eyes. But, hey, I am beginning tosee that as I get older just about anything brings a tear to my eyes. But, I digress.

As I was saying, our parents went out of their way to build memories with us. I remember one Easter in particular. I think I was about six orso. My sister, Laura, who we called Toody, was only two years older than me.

At that time we weren’t much for “church-going” but mom always made sure that at Christmas and Easter we went to church. Back in theday, going to church wasn’t quite like it is now. Back then church had an unspoken dress code, and going to church was big in that way.Mom always made sure our appearance was meticulous from the top of our head to the tip of our toes. Even though money was scarce,there was no way that mom was going to send her kids to church without proper clothing.

That meant that one year in particular, mom made my and my sister’s dresses and even made hats for us, because, after all, back then, allproper ladies not only wore a nice dress, but they wore a hat, gloves and shiny patent leather shoes. Nothing was overlooked and if onedared to present themselves to mom for inspection prior to church with a speck of dirt on his or her face, that offender could expect to havethat dirt scrubbed from his or her face with fingers moistened with mom’s spittle. Yuck!

Those dresses were beautiful in my eyes. Our dresses matched, right down to the bumble bee design. I can clearly remember that designeven now. The funny thing is that my sister remembers the dresses as being adorned with butterflies. Whatever the design was doesn’tmuch matter in the end though. What matters is the pride I remember shining in my mother’s eyes as she presented her five children to thepastor greeting his parishioners at the door.

Being poor was never an excuse for slovenly dressed children with dirty faces. Being poor didn’t matter in the house of the Lord, but beingpoorly turned out was a sin in my mother’s eyes.

As Easter draws near, I pull that memory tightly around me. It keeps me warm and makes me happy. Thanks for those memories mom. Myhope for each of you reading this column is that you too make memories with your loved ones this Easter.

Happy Easter and God bless.


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