From Darkness to Light

Well, here in Cleveland we have been practically buried in snow and darkness for the past 4 months.  Every now and then we are blessed with a glimpse of sunlight shining through our dirty winter windows.  Along with shadowy days comes cloudy emotions.  For many of us who live in the northeast or anywhere snow covered, it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This week, for 3 days in a row now, we have been blessed with bright sunshine!  It really lifted my spirits and put a spring back in my step.  It has motivated me to look forward to my workouts and even inspired me to take a long hike in the park.  That was a great day!  I feel reenergized, rejuvenated, and reinspired.  Easter is still a month away but I am looking forward to having my family here for Easter dinner.  My husband is Greek Orthodox and almost ever year they celebrate Easter on a different Sunday than Traditional/American Easter, but this year it happens to fall on the same Sunday so I am happy to have both sides of my family here to celebrate.

When my boys and the other kids in my family were little, we used to have a huge Easter Egg Hunt and celebration the weekend before Easter.  There were times when there were like 30 little kids at one person's house to dye eggs, look for Easter eggs with money, and eat wonderful food and pastries.  It was a time that I will never forget.  Although the kids are all grown up now and we no longer get together for that occasion, those memories will be with me for the rest of my life.  Just like when I was little girl.  The thing I remember most about Easter was Palm Sunday.  In our house, Palm Sunday was the real day of tradition.  My Mom would make tray after tray of lasagne.  She would serve it with a huge homemade Italian dressing salad (which we all still make), and garlic bread.  The entire family (all 8 kids, my parents, and any spouses, children, etc.) would come over to my mom and dad's tiny house and cram in around the table.

I don't know why we picked Palm Sunday to celebrate but it sure kicked off Easter week for us!  It was the beginning of something great.  It was like moving from darkness into the light.  This is a tradition I still hold dear even with my own little family.  My mom will be celebrating her 80th birthday on Palm Sunday this year and I suggested we celebrate the old fashioned way, by having the traditional Palm Sunday and lasagne dinner at her surprise birthday party (shhh don't tell my my Mom).  I can't wait to for that!

As I am writing this story, a memory just popped into my head about the one time my mom and my sister Jan (she is the eldest) got into a huge argument one Sunday morning (Sunday always was, and still is, in my house the day to make "sauce.")  Anyways, my sister ticked my mom off so badly that my mom picked up the huge double handle pot of sauce and threw it at my sister who was sitting in our carpeted living room!  I don't need to tell you what that had to look like.  Ahhhhhhhhh growing up.....the memories.....good times.  Ok, ok, you know I couldn't be all nostalgic without throwing a little bit of reality in there.

On another note, just when I thought things were never going to brighten up, I also met a new friend, someone who has taken the time to listen and someone whom I can trust.  Do you know how rare that it is to find?  All is looking brighter on the less than sunny side of Cleveland.  I love the season of Lent because it can teach us very important and valuable lessons like how to trust in the Lord, and how to depend on His grace to get us through the darkness, and for that I am eternally grateful!


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