I really was looking forward to Easter.
Sure, it was going to be a bit hectic. Mass at 8:30 a.m. is always a challenge for me, anyway, but we manage it every week, thanks to good guardian angels and three--yes, three--alarm clocks in the master bedroom.
And the forecast was for torrential rain, which might mean a stop at home for everyone to at least pretend to consider changing out of Easter finery before heading to my sister's house for a family get-together, featuring this woman's amazing potato salad, which is truly worth its weight in gold, along with other good food and plenty of playtime for the kids and conversation for the adults.
Still, it would be Easter.
And then I contracted the very worst bout of food poisoning I ever had in my life, on Holy Saturday evening. I'll spare you the details--not everything is bloggable--but suffice it to say that my Easter Sunday was very different from what I'd expected.
I saw my family head out to Mass, and I was proud that Kitten and Hatchick were ready to be the entire soprano section in our little choir (the other sopranos had gone to the Vigil). Bookgirl is one of the altos, but she told me after Mass that she and another alto had occasionally joined with the sopranos to help out.
I waited in bed while they were gone, getting up to answer the phone when my wonderful doctor called back--on Easter Sunday--to reassure me about my symptoms and to tell me to stay put and drink lots of fluids.
I spoke on the phone to my sister to tell her we wouldn't be able to come, and to my sister-in-law, who stopped on her way to the family get-together to drop off some of that amazing potato salad for my family to enjoy.
I greeted Thad and the girls when they came back from Mass, and heard from them all about how Mass had gone, and how beautifully the church was decorated, and how joyful everything was.
I spent most of the rest of day hovering between bedroom and bathroom and trying to drink at least some juice here and there, while wondering why food had become my mortal enemy and secretly hoping that food and I would manage to bury the hatchet and become friends again before the really good potato salad was all gone.
My girls had fun opening soft stuffed animals from their grandma and grandpa (two bunnies and a sweet mommy and baby sheep) and a lovely Last Supper plaque from their other grandma and grandpa; they got to play video games with their Dad, and helped him fix a last-minute supper. They popped in and out of the bedroom to share these things with me and to offer more juice at regular intervals; and before they went to bed, Bookgirl gave me a cross she'd made for me out of wooden craft sticks, painted a lovely yellow with glitter.
And it was Easter.
Despite everything, it was Easter. It was still a day for rejoicing, for love and family, for prayers--the Glorious Mysteries on a Sunday again!--and for reflection. Maybe I didn't get to have the day that I thought I'd have, or celebrate in the way I hoped to celebrate. Maybe I ended up "fasting" even more strictly than I did on Good Friday, instead of feasting with my extended family members. Maybe I had to miss Mass, instead of getting to sing the lovely Easter songs I'd been so looking forward to singing.
But it is Easter. Christ is Risen; we are saved from eternal darkness. And what's a little inconvenient illness compared to that?