I woke up yesterday a little sad because it didn't feel like Easter. My kids are far away and doing other things, my brother was off with his son's family and friends, and so it was just me and Mom.
I told her that would take a little sightseeing trip and have our own little day. We took off driving north on 43 not really knowing where we were going. I took a right on Excelsior and we drove East as far as we could. Our journey took us through Kingsburg, Dinuba, Sanger, Clovis, and finally into and across Fresno.
When I stopped to get gas on Clovis Avenue, my Mom muttered, " We don't need to eat somewhere special."
I saw that she was eyeing the fast place food next door. I questioned, " You don't want to eat somewhere nice?"
She shook her head.
I didn't say anything, but after I got back in the car, we kept driving. I were driving down Shaw and discovered that one of my favorite restaurants was opened, so we ended eating at The Olive Garden.
After we had ordered and our drinks were served, I flatly stated, "Easter can't be ordinary, Mom. It's the most special day of the year."
She nodded again this time sadly. "I know," she whispered. " It reminds me of happier times. The girls in their dresses, Bill's prayers, and stuff.
It was my turn to nod and say, " I know." I then asked her, "We've driven through the better parts of four towns and have you even seen any kids in their Easter clothes or carrying Easter baskets?'
"No, not like it used to be."
I think that was what bothered me most. This wasn't Easter like it used to be. It looked more like an ordinary day and a overly warm one at that, like a shopping event whose time was quickly passing. I new that if we had went into the Walmart they would be putting out the Cinco de Mayo stuff and taking down Easter.
Easter Sunday is the single day of the year that most affirms the key message of human existence, "life has meaning and purpose", and as such, it is the absolute worse time of the year for existentialists, atheists, and communists
Has it been so long ago that we don't remember that two of the largest and most powerful nations on earth severely punished their own citizens for believing that life has purpose. Yet here in 21rst century America, we have allowed the people who desire to turn the country into a progressive paradise to muddle the waters, strip of of us our cultural norms (norms that more often than not encouraged proper behavior), and impose in their place a belief system that all behaviors are equally good and everything else is both true and permissible along as it has nothing to do with the Christian religion and/or wasn't a product of American thinkers. You can't pin them down on anything but that Christianity is bad, that most men are evil and need Gillette commercials to instruct us on how to act, and that all the good things that we have accomplished as a nation were just the lies of our oppressors.
Yes, this country has done many bad things in its history. But name me another country that has been as self corrective as the United States, even paying in blood and bone for our mistakes. Look at communism, for example, the most well known examples of the countries who practice communism would kill or imprison every human being within their borders before admitting that their basic premise is flawed, or that group think, as opposed to personal individuation, is one of the most dangerous things in existence today.
Meanwhile, the message of Christianity has remained true. Those who criticize it, usually base their enmity on the actions of men and institutions who seek to profit from this truth rather than live their live according to the truth. It is a hard thing to do, almost every one who makes the effort will stumble, fall and fail several times on their journey. This only underscores the fact that the purpose of life is to keep on trying. Not to judge or hate, but to keep on trying to make things better.
Easter in America is not the same as we remember, and yet it is.