Easter was a wonderful day spent with family and a couple of our close friends. We milled in and outside of my parents’ home, warmed by the sun that danced upon the green Leona Valley hills of my childhood home.
I noted the simple, rich moments through the lens of my camera. My brother lifted a garden snake that my husband spotted, while the rest of the family gasped and wriggled with relief that it wasn’t a rattlesnake.
I snapped photos of Grandpa and Stephen looking for the garden snake that Frank returned to the ground.
I captured my daughter, Elya, teaching her cousin how to take pictures.
Our family’s newest member cradled in Susan’s loving arms while Stephen comforted her with, “It’s alright baby.”
Before we feasted, Dad gathered us together in a large circle underneath the patio cover. “I don’t know if I’ll be here next Easter, so I want to share something with you.” He then spoke of his hope for all of his children and grandchildren to be with him in heaven someday.
Eyes filled with tears and moans of “Dad, don’t talk that way” filled the warm spring air. His words shattered the cheery mood that floated through breezes along with a bright orange Oreo. The bird landed on the bird feeder dangling from a rod iron hook as if to listen.
No one wanted to consider the inevitable. We had just lost Buster a short time ago and the sting of our first Easter without my sister-in-law’s precious father moistened our eyes.
Yet as we held each other’s hands and listened to Dad pray the dinner blessing, I knew in my heart that our future celebrations would eventually change. Like the tides rolling in and out, some of our family would pass from this earth while new members would be born. My sister expressed these sentiments out loud as she held her newest grandbaby to her chest. “The Lord takes and the Lord gives. Buster is smiling down on us from heaven and we have new ones who have joined us.”
Tears streamed down cheeks, and I felt blessings well up inside my soul. Family is my fortune upon this earth—a joy unspeakable and a security unrivaled. My family delights and undergirds the very fabric of my being. Together we create a swirl of laughter and promise. In my opinion, family is the ultimate expression of creative living.