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AFTER THE EASTER FEAST
April 12, 2004
 
I'll have the rhubarb pie for breakfast, Q says.

That's a good idea, I tell him. A full refrigerator troubles Q; he likes meals in which everything is consumed and there are no leftovers because the quantities were carefully planned, which means that the aftermath of a holiday feast is always a little painful.

This year, I bought twice as many green beans as we needed. I intervened just as he was preparing to freeze a portion of the lamb, insisting that he roast the entire leg. We had so many people! That's murder, you know, Rosie said as she walked by and saw the lamb. So I guess Rosie didn't have any lamb. I should have left Q alone in his freezer project; now we have enough left over lamb for three or four meals.

Why don't you take some of the lemon cake home with you, Gordon? I made it especially for you. I was trying not to beg. He liked the cake, and so he took some home. Anna liked it, too, and took some home. But we still have a fair amount of lemon cake left, plus half a Russian Rum Cake and three individual Molten Chocolate Cakes. Leftover molten chocolate isn't molten any more; it's just not the same.

I also got twice as many potatoes as I needed, but I didn't cook all of them. And I think the tomatoes stuffed with pesto will be good in salads, Or, perhaps, chopped and warmed, on pasta.

But Easter was wonderful here. Comfortable and plenteous. Scented with the intoxicating smell of lilies and hyacinths. Peopled with beloved souls of all ages, from sullen teens to Q himself, paterfamilias.

I am still in bed the next morning. I have a cold. The fourteen-year-old granddaughter and niece of friends has lost her battle with cancer. I want to tell the sullen teen about her, about how sweet a gift life is, about how that young girl will not be attending any more family dinners ever again, about how her grandmother longs for her, how her aunt's heart is breaking. I don't, though. She doesn't know her. Not knowing what death really is, she might roll her eyes heavenward and sigh impatiently, and I couldn't bear that this morning.

Several times, Jesus demonstrated the reality of his risen life by eating in people's presence. He broke bread and ate it, and he cooked and ate some fish. He was real.

But the risen life isn't life just like our life. It's not just a reprieve, a chance to continue our dinner parties and wars, our head colds and heartaches. It is a different way of being, life underneath our life, life that goes on around this life, life that has always gone on around it. As sweet as home is here, the risen life is even more our home. Every sorrow stripped from us, we alight in it. I think we recognize it immediately.
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
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