Funny how things pop into your mind and you really don’t know why. The memory is jogged in a most unexpected way.
A few days ago we had about two inches of snow fall in Portland. And yes, our hyacinths had bloomed early. Only to find themselves blanketed in a cloak of white.
Several days latter torrential rains came and although the hyacinths had perked up their heads, the rain battered them right back down again.
As I thought about their battle for supremacy in their world of plants and springtime showiness, I was reminded of an Easter in my childhood when it snowed. Not a normal occurrence in Nashville, the snow surprised us on Easter morning.
I must have been around five years old. Just old enough to be smitten with the new dress, gloves, hat and black patent leather Mary Janes that were waiting to be donned for church.
When mama saw the snow, I heard her say to daddy, “We’ll just put on one of her other Sunday dresses and an older pair of shoes. It will be OK. She can wear the new things next Sunday.”
I’m sorry but I was having nothing to do with that. I had new clothes, something that didn’t happen often in our home, and I was going to wear them!
It was a struggle to reach the dress mama had rehung in the closet. With the help of my little desk chair, I managed to fetch it and the hat. The lace-trimmed socks and gloves were back in their drawer ready to nap their way through Easter. And those shoes — shiny and black — were easy enough to reach. They sat at attention on the closet floor.
Mama was busy, so I went about dressing myself. Oh, was she livid when she found me ready to go in my new garb!
The neighbors probably heard her screaming to me, “Take those clothes and shoes off this instant, young lady! You’re not wearing those today in the snow.”
About that time, daddy appeared in the doorway. Usually he didn’t interfere with mama’s mandates but this time he did.
“Let her wear the new clothes. And to make sure nothing happens to the shoes or anything else, I’ll carry Sherrey from the front door of the house to the car and at the church from the car to the entrance. It’s going to be OK.”
I breathed a sigh of relief. My hero had come to my rescue just like a princess waiting in the tower for her knight.
And daddy did just as he said — he carried me to the car and then from the car to the church. Not a flake of snow touched me that morning.
I hold many memories of my dad close to my heart, but this is one of my favorite, perhaps because it is associated with Easter.
After all, Easter is a time when we hopefully stop and think about the love and compassion God showed for each of us when He gave us the gift of His Son Jesus. I’ve always liked to think of my Heavenly Father in the image of my own father, whose caring and love extended far beyond an Easter Sunday morning.