Sunday, April 04, 2010

When Home Comes to You. On Easter.

It’s not often when I get to spend Easter (my absolute favorite holiday!) with my folks. It’s even more rare to spend two Easters in a row with them. I was lucky enough to go back home for Easter last year, and I am doubly so to have my parents here with me this year. I have been counting blessings for the past month and I won’t be done for a while.

The kitchen island and dad at the beginning of the day

Along with all the heartache of having them here, all sorts of arguments about why food does not taste the same in America, and why we don’t have “ienibahar” at the store for lamb steak, and why spices or beer for that matter are so God-awful expensive here, and why we don’t have beer in a coke-like machine at the end of the driveway, like they do in Romania, comes the priceless privilege of having home cooked meals, the way God intended them to be cooked – with love. And it’s the only way my folks know how to touch food!

Mom and dad arguing over ... who remembers ?!?
I make onion stew and meatloaf and cheese dip myself, year round, but I swear I am missing the “secret ingredient” they always have and never share to make the food taste just the way it tastes back home. I am not sure what it is, maybe it’s the fact that I am not working for it, maybe it’s the fact that they have no qualms about using the pepper and salt shaker, or using the real kind of butter … I am not quite sure. But although the recipes are the same, the outcome is always better when they do it.

Meatloaf: before and after. Yum!

And then, there is the bonding. We shop together, we cook together, talking, and sharing tips, and yelling across the room at each other when I realize dad uses real bacon in something and he realizes I am using “Smart Balance” instead of butter, cleaning together – it’s not just cooking, it’s living, and loving, and sharing, and a whole experience.

Dad, dubious that Fero can have any input whatsoever
on how many eggs go in the cheesecake pie

At the end of the day, and at the end of a long week of Lent fasting, we go to church at midnight, and when we hear the “Jesus has risen!” salute from the priest, our eyes tear. And we feel that much closer: we have lived through another important holiday – together. We have been fortunate, to unite once again although so many thousands of miles separate us on our daily lives. We see The Light of Jesus, and we thank Him for all that is He has given us: health, money, love, and each other. We feel happy. The sort of happiness in the purest form – the one of acknowledging that things that truly matter are small and don’t involve millions of dollars, nor houses at the beach, nor winning the lottery – they are small, but – just like the foundation of a house – they are paramount, because we cannot accomplish the big things without.

We bring The Light home, to every room, in the form of our vigil candles of Jesus’s Resurrection and we fall asleep happy, full and grateful.

After church, with The Light, back home. Grateful.

At the end of the day, I am not sure what I should thank God for: that He helped them travel here? Or that He helped me have a nice welcome for them? Or both …It’s a magic moment in time, out of which I will feed myself, like from the spring of eternal life, for years and years to come.

Happy Easter, all, and just like a friend of mine was saying this morning: remember that “it’s not all about the Easter bunny.” Not for us anyway.

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