Although Kateri called herself a “Recovering Catholic”… she still loved the holidays and Easter was no exception. It didn’t matter if we were home or happened to be away in some dumpyish hotel near the ocean, visiting friends back in The Rockies, or with family anywhere… there was always an Easter Basket in the morning. I’ve got to mention that Kateri loved baskets, and if there was a holiday where she could make someone happy by putting little gifts and candy in a basket… she was all over it! The gravy being she got to keep the baskets afterwards!
Sorry, just gotta detour for a sec because one of Kateri’s favorite Easter events IN THE WORLD! just popped into my head. We have a couple of friends who throw an Adult Easter Egg Hunt! Now, first of all, Kateri loved these two people. (The husband was actually the nurse who was there when they had to tip her upside down to put an IV in her neck when her kidneys failed in 2004… after our trip to the Dominican. It was a scary time and she was so thankful that someone she knew was taking care of her… and that it was him. He had ever since held a special place in her heart). Anyways, these guys have some land in the hills and invite friends over for an evening/night of festivities. You see… the Easter Egg hunt happens once it get’s dark!… At night!… with flashlights n shit!… on a few acres in rural Vermont consisting of yard, woods, creek, pond, fields, barns, and culverts! It was probably one of our favorite experiences ever… I mean, at least in the top 250… there are a lot to choose from, but it’s up there!
It was hilarious. I think about 50 of us… ish… packed into the kitchen and living room of their little old farmhouse and waited for two things. 1. For it to get dark and 2. For John to come back from hiding the prize which would provide us with a “winner” of the hunt… The Black Egg. Actually it was shaped liked a kidney, but it did the job. It was obviously the best color for an Adult Easter Egg Hunt at night… and it was able to hold the prize of a couple hundred bucks for the winner!
It was nice for everyone to catch up in that time, to meet new people, to share stories… but once John came back!… it was on!… in the most polite, friendly, and supportive way an Adult Easter Egg Hunt could go! The fact that it was in the dark just killed Kateri and I! They would literally walk into the yard… drop eggs… and not find them till the next morning. You could see headlamps pointed straight down scouring fence lines, woods, around out buildings… and in them. You could hear the giggles of grown ups as they found and opened eggs filled with candy, lottery tickets, and booze. There was outright laughter echoing in the darkness as people tromped through the creek and slipped on the slick rocks. The year we participated, The Black Egg was inside… INSIDE… the 6 foot culvert running beneath the dirt road! It was simply one of those fun things in life that take you by surprise when you realize just how good of an idea it is… that everything about it is fun! Basically, it’s a night filled with good people who are simply trying to find money in a black kidney… in the dark… while drunk and stoned. (yes, it’s also fun sober… just not as fun… or challenging)
Last year, Easter fell on the 1st. It was actually three weeks before Kateri passed. It’s weird to think about… she wasn’t in Palliative Care yet. Heck, we hadn’t even received the bad news of no more options yet. Maria had just gotten to our house the day or two before… I think. She came to help… and to be with her sister. It was the three of us for the last three weeks of Kateri’s life… going through it… together. I am forever grateful to Maria for being here for many reasons, but it really comes down to the fact that I think Kateri needed her to be here. Kateri needed Maria to be with her as she was preparing to leave this earth… she needed her help… her support… her love. And Maria… needed to be with Kateri.
It’s because of Maria that I have this video taken last Easter after we had spent the morning drinking coffee and going through our Easter Baskets (Kateri got me a tent… that’s a whole nother story). I didn’t remember the video when I stumbled upon it trying to clear space on my phone, so it sorta caught me by surprise. It’s hard for me to see Kateri in the “Cancer Time” and it’s quick, but it’s Kateri… through and through… in a space she loved… with people she loved.
If you are into Easter, Jesus, and all that jive… I hope you have a good one! If not… well… Happy Sunday!
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