We were teased by the appearance of the sun yesterday and temperatures warm enough to slip on flip-flops and shrug off sweaters. Thirty-two children, from babies to teenagers, ran through the backyards on my street for our annual Easter Egg Hunt. But today, gray clouds and a misty drizzle are back.
This morning, I woke up feeling sad. I don’t know why. The sun has disappeared but the magnolia trees still hold their branches wide open, filled with soft pink flowers. All around them, the lime green of baby leaves are the color of hope.
The day before Easter, I went to a memorial service for my cousin and experienced the bittersweet that comes from capturing time with extended family members I don’t get to see often though we were all wishing the reunion could be for a purpose more joyful. Together we created a quilt of memories of the one no longer with us. I was two years older than my cousin. Since his death, I have had the privilege of growing even older, waking each morning to a day filled with sun or rain while his age has remained frozen in time. Five years ago, he moved to Kenya and most of us lost touch with him. During the service, his father read emails from his adopted African family about the time he bought them enough groceries to fill a taxi and how, for the first time in many months, everyone went to sleep with a full belly.
I remember how much he loved computers but was awkward around people. Since he was family he was one of us, but it wasn’t always an easy fit. So I was touched when I heard how he made his African family laugh along with grilled cheese sandwiches, and paid the tuition for a child to attend school. We laid daffodils on his grave as the rain came down.
I am writing this now as I sit in a cafe, nursing a cappuccino, waiting for a friend. We had planned to have coffee together at 10:00 after her routine mammogram. She is over an hour late. My phone is beside me with her text– they wanted more films. She will text again as soon as she knows what’s up. Now my sadness is laced with worry. How quickly a day can move from clouds to sun and back again. Time slows while I wait, as if I am holding my breath.
And then she calls. All is okay. I exhale. The sadness lingers, though the edges have softened.